Wood and water: LWD on the BBC

Woody debris on the radio… who knew the tools of river restoration geekdom could get so publicly funky?   

Following Good Friday’s post-industrial fly-fishing extravaganza on the Wandle, another programme took to the airwaves yesterday morning: this time exploring the role of large and coarse woody debris in renaturalising river systems both rural and urban. 

Clearly, as Angela Gurnell (Queen Mary University) and Alistair Driver (the Environment Agency) both emphasise, woody debris of any kind needs to be used very carefully in the urban landscape.

But under the right set of circumstances, such as the Disley and New Mills trial stretch of the Goyt, well-secured LWD can actually help to reduce peak flood flows by slowing floodwaters’ conveyance to bottlenecks like vulnerable bridges, or even diverting peak flows into flood retention areas where a few days’ extra inundation doesn’t cause a problem. (Hell, in these drought-hit times, it might even help a little more water infiltrate to the aquifer…)

As usual with the BBC iPlayer, the programme won’t be there forever… but catch it while you can!

(Photo: thanks to Duncan Soar)

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