Cleaning up in Elland

“It was heart-warming to see everyone out working together.” Ecologist at the Trust, Phillippa Baron teamed up with volunteers on Saturday 23 January to help clear up after the Boxing Day floods.

Phillippa Baron joins flood clean up efforts Phillippa Baron joins flood clean up efforts

I was actually on my honeymoon over Christmas so the first thing I knew about the floods was when my friend put some photos up on facebook. The photos showed the Calder & Hebble in flood, and it was a stretch that I’d been working on just a couple of weeks before to survey a particular rare aquatic plant called Luronium - which the Calder & Hebble has a good population of. I obviously wondered what impact the floods would have had.

I live in Leeds not far from the river, but luckily we escaped any flood damage ourselves. It was a shock though to come back from holiday and see everything that had happened. So much had changed in just a short space of time.

It was good to get stuck in and help with the clean-up efforts on Saturday. It was all hands on deck. I joined in with the volunteers working in Elland. Seeing the towpath all ripped up from the flooding was terrible. A piece of tarmac the size of a car had been ripped upside down!

We set to work laying a new path so that people could actually walk from A to B. Other people picked up litter, and there was a group of people re-building the drystone walls. I’d say there was about 100 people all in all. A really fantastic turnout.

It was a really busy and positive day. Lots of local people came and gave their time to help us. Even people who hadn’t had any previous involvement with us as an organisation. There were families with children, and we had tea and coffee available. Everyone worked really hard.

Last date edited: 4 March 2016