LAST month’s deluge suggested once again that our climate is changing with floods and droughts becoming increasingly common.
That’s why Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) is hoping to establish wetlands to reduce localised flooding and provide a habitat for rarer species.
Now YWT has submitted plans to Kirklees Council to build the last of its eight wetlands in Kirklees.
The 0.4-hectare site, off Penistone Road, Fenay Bridge, is the final site to be converted for the Kirklees Wild Wet Woodlands project, managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Kirklees Council.
If granted planning permission the site, owned by Kirklees Council, will have mounds, mini-ponds and 300 trees that thrive in wet soils.
It is hoped the sites, including those at Bradley, Lowerhouses, Dalton, Almondbury, Farnley Tyas and Kirkburton, will soak up flood water and release it slowly during dry periods.
The project aims to increase local populations of plants and animals that thrive in wetlands, including fungi, mosses and lichen as well as newts, frogs and otters.
The £50,000 project, which began in January 2011, is funded by Biffa Waste through the tax the company pays to bury rubbish in landfill.
Nick Simms, who is running the project for YWT, said: “It will provide an interesting space for wildlife and we’re choosing wet woodlands because they’re very rare habitats in this part of the world.
“Secondly we can use wet woodland to mitigate against extreme flooding and drought.
“Anti-flood projects cost huge amounts but a project like this doesn’t.
“If we can prevent flooding and we can do it cheaply it could be a solution for other areas with floods.” The wetlands are sited next to drier areas to encourage biodiversity.
Nick said: “It’ll be a mosaic of wetter and drier systems. We’re doing a lot in a small amount of space.”
Councillors are expected to decide on the plan on Thursday after a public consultation which ends tomorrow.