Slowing the Flow

We returned to school and Forest School this week after the Christmas break which brought unprecedented levels of flooding to the local area. Although our woodland escaped the worst of the flooding, there was evidence of the effects of the prolonged downpours. Fagley Beck had swelled and the sound of the water gushing  down the edge of the woodland could be heard as we approached. Our well trodden footpaths bubbled with water running off from the surrounding fields revealing the orange clay and sandstone beneath. Our observations led to discussions about global warming and how the warmer, wetter winters were affecting our environment. Many of the children had witnessed the news reports regarding the devastation the floods had caused to local communities and were keen to share their ideas on how the water could have been prevented from reaching people’s homes.

They decided they wanted to have a go at stopping the flow of water down one of the paths in the wood by creating a dam. They gathered together rocks, branches, soil and leaves and began constructing their dam. They succeeded in slowing the water down, but as it began to spill around the edges of their dam, they agreed that a series of dams would be required to slow the flow gradually and set about creating more further up the stream. Working together, they were able to effectively slow down, re-route and in some places, halt the flow of the water. As we headed back to school, we chatted about the different methods that have been used locally to try and with flooding from the high tech flood barriers in York to the more traditional methods of land management, tree planting, log dams and adopted in Pickering. You can read more about the Slowing the Flow project in Pickering here: Slowing the Flow


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