PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY AND LEEDS CITY COUNCIL
Tree maintenance work is taking place in Kirkstall this week to reduce obstructions in the River Aire which may cause a flood risk.
Following the recent stormy weather, high winds caused significant damage to four trees along the River Aire at Kirkstall.
A river stewardship team, led by River Stewardship Company and Peter Duffy Ltd on behalf of Leeds City Council as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, will be working in the area this week to clear the fallen or unstable branches before they get into the river. If left, there is a risk that they could be carried by the river when levels are high, potentially causing blockages.
River Stewardship Company will be carrying out the works this week. They will be working near Kirkstall Abbey and then at Burley Mills allotment site.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“This ongoing river stewardship work is an important part of our flood prevention work in Leeds, as it is vital that the river flows in a consistent way with fallen trees and other potential obstacles removed before they can cause significant problems.
“It is very pleasing to see the team able to respond so quickly to deal with these issues so soon after the recent storms and high winds. We are very grateful to everyone involved in this work and especially the local community volunteers for their efforts in helping to keep the river healthy and moving.”
A programme of river stewardship to clean up waterways in Leeds has been launched as part of the preparation needed for the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, which is led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency.
Leeds City Council is working with Peter Duffy Ltd, River Stewardship Company, Open Source Arts and Groundwork to carry out the programme of river channel maintenance work, which includes the control of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed along the banks of the River Aire through the centre of Leeds.
It also includes a programme of tree management and litter and debris clearance, as well as a programme of weekly volunteer days designed to engage and connect local people to the river and to the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.
The year-long programme will work down the River Aire from Apperley Bridge to Thwaites Mill.
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