Oxbow pond, River Leven

An oxbow pond created from an old meander of the River Leven at Little Ayton. The pond is normally dry but has, a few years ago, been engineered to fill when the river level is high. The ends have wattle dams through which the water is then released slowly once the river level drops. A low cost solution to flood prevention. Floods are natural events that have been exacerbated by man’s activities over the generations. Rivers have been widened, straightened and channeled, water meadows and fields drained, woodland cleared and soils compacted by livestock and heavy tractor, so that water is pushed downstream as quickly as possible. The amount of water this pond contains may be small, perhaps half a swimming pool or so, but it does make a contribution to holding back the flood water.


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