River Aire tree felling to boost flood protection

A tree removal operation will begin along a 15-mile stretch of the River Aire next week.

A tree removal operation will begin along a 15-mile stretch of the River Aire next week.

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A major tree felling operation will be carried out along the River Aire next week to improve flood protection for local homes.

The Environment Agency said it would be removing trees on a 15-mile stretch of the riverbanks between Steeton and Bell Busk to improve the river’s flow and capacity, reduce the risk of the watercourse being blocked and to protect flood defences from being damaged.

Project manager Richard Anelay, of surveyors Turner & Townsend, said: “This is a major waterway clearance project, which will help improve flow and lessen flood risk in the area.

“A detailed ecological survey of the waterways has been carried out and the work will specifically target the removal of trees, vegetation and debris that is deemed a potential flood risk.”

He said contractors will work sympathetically to the watercourse’s ecology and the environment, and the work, which is due to be finished by the end of March, will not disrupt the bird nesting season nor other wildlife such as bats and otters.

Felled trees will largely be used to create habitats for wildlife.

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