News & Events

No escape for green riverscape Posted: 03/03/2010

The river at Malin Bridge after clearance of vegetation

Any one paying attention to the rivers in Sheffield the last couple of years will have noticed a gradual transformation as stretch by stretch of river bank has had years of vegatative growth cleared. In response to the severe floods of 2007, the Environment Agency has cut down riparian trees, cleared vegetation and dug out gravel shoals in the river channel, turning the green river corridor brown. The latest stretch to receive this treatment has been Malin Bridge downstream of the confluence of the Loxley and Rivelin (pictured). The logic behind this intervention is that by removing vegetation from the channel, it will not be swept into the river blocking bridges during high flow and therefore exacerbating flooding. Response from local people has been mixed. Some welcome the measures if they will protect against further flooding, and enjoy seeing the archaeological heritage that has been exposed. Others worry about the loss of habitat for nesting birds and spawning fish.   

URSULA PhD student Peggy Haughton has been following the work at Malin Bridge with interest. As part of her research she is trying to understand better what different kinds of outcomes different people wanted for the site, how these aspirations were considered in the decision making process, and what their feelings are about the site as it now exists, to see if there are ways that the processes of decision-making could better incorporate the huge variety of different ideas about the site.

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