A notorious flooding blackspot in Yorkshire has managed to stay dry by working with nature on a community-led defence scheme

The town of Pickering receives water draining off the North York Moors. It had been refused a multimillion pound concrete wall defence scheme when a local environmentalist pointed out that the moors had traditionally released rainwater much more slowly. Residents helped build 167 leaky dams of logs and branches to slow down flow. Sited above the town, they let normal water levels through but slow down high levels of rain. Another 187 smaller dams made from bales of heather were built, and 29 hectares of woodland planted. A bund to store and slowly release flood water was also installed.

When heavy rainfall hit the area again in December 2015, the scheme “worked a treat”.

“Our community got on with life as normal,” said Mike Potter of the Pickering and District Civic Society.

Photo: Flickr member Elzoh