The Farnley Wood Beck flood alleviation scheme reduces flood risk to 15 properties and key infrastructure in Churwell from Farnley Wood Beck.

Old Road, and properties on Old Close, are at risk of flooding from Farnley Wood Beck, with two notable flooding events in 2000 and 2005. Prior to the completion of the scheme, the risk of flooding to these properties was estimated to be greater than a 5% chance of flooding in any given year.

The £1m scheme was completed in February 2023, and reduces the risk of flooding from Farnley Wood Beck in this area to a 1% chance in any given year (a 1-in-100-year standard of protection).

The scheme involved the removal of a redundant mill chase structure in the channel and vegetation management to reduce the risk of woody debris causing blockages downstream. The mill chase no longer provided any useful function and was in poor condition with a risk of collapse leading to increased flood risk in the area.

The vegetation management undertaken has also improved the aesthetics of the area by revealing a greenspace that was previously overgrown and collecting debris. The area has been reinstated using a low-maintenance seed mix that will provide benefits for a variety of wildlife once it has been established.

Leeds City Council executive member for infrastructure and climate, Councillor Helen Hayden said; “Leeds City Council is committed to increasing flood resilience across the city. We are delighted that the works here have been successfully completed. We have a programme of works to reduce flood risk all over Leeds, this includes the main rivers as well as smaller watercourses. It all plays a part to make sure that our residents are protected, which will become increasingly important as climate change increases the likelihood of higher river levels in the future.”

The Leeds City Council flood risk management team is currently exploring options for natural flood management methods in the wider Farnley Wood Beck catchment.

Work is underway to identify areas that would be suitable for tree planting, soil aeration, leaky dams, and other natural flood management methods. This would help to slow the flow of water and reduce flood risk throughout the catchment, improve water quality, capture carbon, and create new habitat for wildlife.