NATURAL measures to reduce flood risk, which include the planting of thousands of trees in the River Aire catchment area, are due to go on show in Skipton next week.

A team from the Environment Agency, leading the pilot as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, will be at Skipton Auction Mart on Wednesday (May 23) talking to farmers and landowners to seek out potential new pilot sites to test the techniques.

The Upper Aire Land Management project sets out to work with natural processes to reduce flood risk, known as natural flood management, and is an important part of managing and reducing flood risk in a sustainable way alongside more traditional engineering solutions.

The team hopes to build on the existing work done in the catchment by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and others, to work with farmers to seek further potential sites in the upper Aire catchment to test natural flood management techniques.

They include tree and hedgerow planting, leaky barriers and brash dams to help slow down the flow of water during a flood.

It also helps create habitat for wildlife and regenerate rural and urban areas through tourism.

The natural flood management pilots form part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency, which has a catchment wide approach to reducing flood risk to Leeds.

The £500,000 pilot programme, which has been funded by Leeds City Council, forms part of plans to plant hundreds of thousands of trees that will support second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The first of thousands of trees to be planted across the upper River Aire catchment took place in March, as part of the pilot natural flood management project.

Cllr Judith Blake CBE, leader of Leeds City Council, planted the first tree on site at Eshton Beck, Gargrave, in front of volunteers, landowners, local authority representatives and partners.

There are now 450 trees planted at the site, which will play an important role in seeing how natural techniques can slow the flow of water and reduce the risk of flooding downstream.

Farmers or landowners interested in finding out more about the natural flood management pilot can contact the project team by emailing: