Upper Catchment Management

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 26th April 2017.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central 4:30 pm, 26th April 2017

The hon. Gentleman has a point, but the research also looks at other management of the moorlands. Some sites, for instance, are left fallow to see what the impact is and there can be absorption. The research looks not only at heathers but at the wider biodiversity that comes from the upland management. That is why a 10-year research programme is so much more significant. Measures arising from the research already conducted would bring flooding down in York by 40 cm. Looking at the regeneration of certain species over 10 years could reduce that level further. If we consider York and the 40 cm, many of the barriers now being discussed, and how high they are raised, might not need to be in place and could therefore save even more money. If we then reinvest that money into planting trees and, as in Pickering, having leaky dams upstream and other forms of water catchment, we could be talking about significantly more water not coming downstream: perhaps 45 cm or 50 cm, and each centimetre is significant. That proves the research is crucial to drive forward a programme that really addresses the issues.