3 Valleys Nature Park

3 Valleys Nature Park is a long term vision to make the waterways of Kirklees central to the natural greenspace network of this varied and diverse landscape. EPIKs is the lead organisation among a group of partners who are working together to deliver benefits to wildlife, businesses and the community.

3 Valleys Nature Park Pilot

A Development Plan for the Colne Valley

We propose to undertake an audit of the assets – and their potential – along the corridor of the River Colne, particularly the waterways.

This will contribute to a Development Plan for the Park, helping transform the concept from an idea into reality. We will start with a pilot project focusing on the Colne Valley which will provide a crucial step towards a more comprehensive community engagement process.

The five areas we are looking at are as follows:

  • Destination sites along the waterways
  • Schools and youth engagement
  • Biodiversity and wildlife corridors
  • Active travel network
  • Litter in the aquatic (and marine) environment

The project marks an essential step in the development of the 3 Valleys Nature Park. It will also help us demonstrate how the partnership model of managing the project can work across the whole area.

We need to raise sponsorship or grant funding for each element of the audit. This will also enable us to lever in additional funds and resources. We will also be recruiting volunteers to help with the work. Match it! will help us to realise this project.

3 Valleys Nature Park

Resilience and Natural Flood Management

Through Greenstreams we are working to make the 3 Valleys Nature Park a part of a partnership bid to the Government’s Innovation Resilience Fund (IRF). This fund is primarily aimed at reducing flood risk, for example through natural flood management (NFM) in the wider landscape.

To succeed, it must add value by achieving other environmental objectives. Led by Kirklees Council’s Senior Drainage Engineer, it will also involve a range of other voluntary sector partners.

Weir Management

As well as NFM, we would like to explore the utilisation of our historic infrastructure for flood resilience to provide other benefits.

We have been inspired by Moors for the Future’s research work in the uplands (view Moors for the Future here). They looked at the modification of small dams by adding notches and slots as a means of providing temporary water storage during flood peaks.

Some weirs within our rivers are redundant – a relic of industrialisation – and worse still, a barrier to fish movement. Not only could modified weirs offer the possibility of temporary water storage during flood peaks, they could be designed to allow fish to travel upstream.

The creation of wetlands helps to store water in the landscape and reduce the impact of flooding.

3 Valleys Nature Park

A Partnership Project

With the support of Kirklees Council and the Environment Agency, as well as community groups, local businesses and charities, we believe it can become our nature park.

Key partners in developing the concept and contributing to the production of the 3 Valleys Nature Park prospectus include: