Working together to protect our valleys
Danny Teasdale, director of Ullswater Catchment Management Community Interest Company, provides an overview of the aims and work going on to protect the Ullswater area through combining farming and land management with conservation and natural flood management.
In December 2015 our community was devastated by floods and the following aftermath.
I live in Glenridding and it was decided that we would set up a flood group to try to make our community more flood resilient to future events. My family have lived in the area for generations and were predominantly from a farming background, but have always had a keen passion for wildlife and conservation and so I decided to look into where we could work with our farming community and land owners to implement natural flood management methods to try to benefit our downstream communities. And so together we established the Ullswater Catchment Management Community Interest Company.
The work to date has varied from tree planting and new hedgerows to temporary upland water storage areas and river restoration projects, to a catchment scale soil analysis program to improve rain water infiltration and slow the run off of flood water. The CIC works with a variety of partners, including the Environment Agency, the Woodland Trust, The Farmer Network , Natural England and Eden Rivers Trust, as well an essential team of volunteers.
As the works progressed it became apparent that many aspects of natural flood management often had many over lapping benefits to not only our wildlife, but our farm land too. The work became such a success I was asked to look into issues other than just Glenridding that I thought it was a natural progression to establishing the Ullswater Catchment Management Community Interest Company. I was keen to prove that by working together as a community we can build a more flood resilient community, strengthen our farming business and give our wildlife and conservation a massive helping hand, by working on a whole catchment scale approach. This approach has really worked for us and proves what can be achieved by delivering projects that are driven from the ground upwards, and by working in partnership with our farming community and land owners.
For more information please follow us on Twitter @UllswaterCic which includes lists and images of projects we have undertaken to date. Please click donate to help us continue the vital work we are doing. If you would like to get involved in helping to work on the projects - we always need volunteers to join us in getting our hands dirty - then please contact me on Ucmcic@btinternet.com.