LAKE DISTRICT FLOODING

JUST GOING OVER A FEW POINTS ON REGULAR FLOODING IN THE LAKE DISTRICT AREA

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  • Created on: 09-02-13 15:18
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LAKE DISTRICT FLOODING
1) Highlight the causes and impacts of Cockermouth
floods
Between the 18th and 20th November 2009, over 400
millimetres of rain had fallen at Seathwaite, Borrowdale ­ almost
one and a half times the monthly average.
More than two hundred people had to be rescued from the
2,000 Cumbrian homes, which were flooded and destroyed (with
one death). During the course of this flood, over 12,000 tonnes of
gravel was deposited in the area, costing the council $3.5 million
alone in damage to footpaths, affecting 80% of the local
businesses.
2) What has been agricultural land use policy since the Second
World War?
Since the Second World War (1945), hedgerows have been
removed, the land has been drained, and the rivers harshly
managed through canalisation. This has been carried out in order
to maximise the area available for livestock ­ often at the
taxpayers' expense. In the meantime, sheep numbers have
increased, and their intensive grazing has compounded the
problem by compacting the soil and reducing infiltration.
3) How did farmers in the Pontbren area contribute to the
changing view on management of upland areas?
A group of farmers in the Pontbren catchment, near Llanfair
Caereinion in Wales, decided that they wanted to do more with
their land than simply chase subsidies. The idea was to return to
farming in a more traditional way, based on the extensively
reared native breeds of sheep. They also began restoring the
landscape to the way it used to be, planting woodland,
shelterbelts and hedgerows and introducing traditional farm
ponds and wetlands.
4) How can woodlands be used to manage floods?
On average, studies showed, well-placed tree shelterbelts could
reduce peak flow by 29 per cent; introducing full woodland cover

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Planting more trees also improves
water quality and carbon sequestration, and with the UK being
one of the least forested countries in Europe, there should be
plenty of room. For best effect, they need to be placed along
landscape contours and stream contours. Woodland planting also
needs to be targeted at the most sensitive soils or in key locations
for intercepting and `soaking up' surface run-off generated from
the adjacent ground.…read more

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