Flourishing Plans for new nature reserve take root.

Work is set to start in early summer to create a new wetlands nature reserve at Brearley Fields in Mytholmroyd, following planning approval at the end of 2020.

The project, which is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will transform the former playing fields into a valuable wetlands habitat and increase floodwater storage on the floodplain of the River Calder

Work will soon begin on the site, to create new permanent ponds and hollows connected to the River Calder, which will flood naturally as river levels rise. Reedbeds, tree planting and a wildflower meadow will complement the water attenuation features and together create a diversity of habitats that boosts local biodiversity.

Accessible footpaths, seating areas and interpretation boards are also planned, offering new health and wellbeing benefits for local residents.

Some of the habitat creation work will be carried out by volunteers, working in partnership with the Council, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and local community groups. There are also plans to establish a friends group to offer opportunities for volunteer involvement and to help manage the nature reserve.

Work on Brearley Fields is due to start in May 2021, with initial earthworks due to last approximately eight weeks. During this period access to the fields will be restricted.

The Brearley Fields wetland reserve is part of Calder Greening, a series of projects partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund to improve green spaces, encourage tourism and business growth, and complement the Flood Alleviation Schemes with naturally managed flood risk across the Calder Valley, delivered in partnership with the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

To get involved in volunteering opportunities or the planned friends group at Brearley Fields, email sam.speight@calderdale.gov.uk