Ref: CSFF040005

Lead: Mick Holding,

Group members: 17

Length of agreement: 3

Area of group (hectares): 4805

Priorities: flood risk management in the Irwell Catchment (initially ref: NCA036 Southern Pennines Priority Statement).

Works to deliver flood management measures have the potential to deliver a number of other listed priorities for this area.
Management activities, to:

  • reduce the amount and rate of surface water run-off
  • reduce soil erosion
  • slow the movement of floodwaters on floodplains

Within the Irwell Catchment, there is scope to achieve a step change in downstream flood risk management by maintaining and restoring listed Priority Habitats including: blanket bog; upland flushes, fens and swamps; ancient and native woodland, especially clough woodland; and riparian habitat associated with priority rivers.

It is further anticipated that benefits for flood risk can be accrued through the management of other listed priority habitats: Lowland meadows; upland meadows and heathland; particularly where this is wet heath.

The Group will examine beneficial management of soils; looking at the reduction of compaction and issues associated with ‘iron-panning in lime-poor areas which could increase infiltration rates as well as benefiting the overlying vegetation.

Restoration and maintenance of the above habitats, together with other envisaged measures to expand wetland area will have spin-off benefits for many of the listed priority species too; particularly woodland bird assemblage and the breeding wader assemblage; both of which are priorities in the newly notified West Pennine Moors SSSI in the west of the Catchment.