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Dr David Milledge and Prof Stuart Lane present the results of a recent study they authored on flood prevention in the Yorkshire Dales located in Northern England that investigates the role of controlling surface drains (grips) to manage flood risk.
The moorlands of large swathes of Upland Britain are covered by hundreds of kilometres of surface drains or ‘grips’. These grips were originally dug between the 1950s and the 1970s to dry out the peat soil with the expectation that this would improve the vegetation for grazing and game. Grips have dried out the peat, but ‘gripping’ has since been associated with a range of negative impacts both in the moors and in the rivers that flow from them. Drying the peat both changes the ecosystem that it sustains and makes it more susceptible to erosion. This eroded peat is then transported downstream and needs to be removed from the water before we can drink it. Read more