Flooding in the Vale of York, past and present

On page 43 of “Archaeology and Landscape in the Vale of York” by Mark Whyman and Andy J Howard, published by York Archaeological Trust in 2005 it is stated that “current understanding suggests that the intensity and severity of flooding may increase across northern Britain due to global warming. Planning for such changes may include altering the way in which we use river floodplains, and perhaps allowing some to revert back to nature to provide storage zones for floodwaters, in the way that the ings at Clifton, a northern suburb of York, are now used. Historical maps indicate that, prior to the large-scale drainage and canalisation works undertaken during the eighteenth century, many of the rivers in the Vale of York flowed simultaneously in several channels, thereby increasing their capacity to retain floodwaters within what was in effect their own self-regulating system. Understanding the long-term past development of the river system can thus play a vital role in helping planners and engineers work out how floodplains have evolved, how previous generations have reacted to changing climate patterns and associated flooding, and how these same issues might be addressed in the future.” Isn’t that an interesting proposal?

The report also considers the layout of the Forest of Galtres as a medieval landscape feature, which some of us believe would have included the Copse at the north of Rawcliffe Meadows.


About greatemancipator

Researcher and practioner in matters relating to egovernment, government ICT and their approach to the citizen.
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