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Improving water quality and reducing flood risk through upstream green infrastructure

Dr Steve Carver (SoG), Prof Joseph Holden (SoG), Prof Dominick Spracklen (SEE)

Project partner(s): White Rose Forest (CASE), with additional support from Yorkshire Water, Calderdale Council, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust

Contact email:

Yorkshire Water have donated 160 ha of land near Gorpley Reservoir for a regional partnership to develop land management solutions to flooding and water quality to ensure the region is resilient to future climate change. This PhD will examine how land management design can be maximized to gain benefits for flood risk, water quality and carbon capture. It will study the hydrological and biogeochemical processes associated with different types of green infrastructure design focusing on the Gorpley project where several £M will be invested in the next few years. The project would directly support regional partners who are working together at this site as part of the Leeds City Region’s Green Infrastructure Strategy that seeks to maximize good growth from enhancing the resilience of the system for water quality, flood risk, health, carbon capture and biodiversity.

The project will involve fieldwork, laboratory work, GIS and perhaps some modeling.

The student will have interest and experience in soils, hydrology, water quality and land management impacts. The student will spend time with the partners leaning about practical needs and policy development to ensure the research has maximum impact.


Lane, SN (2017) Natural flood management. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 4, e1211.

Dadson, SJ, Hall, JW,  Murgatroyd, A., Acreman, M., Bates, P., Beven., K, Heathwaite, A.L. Holden, J., Holman, I. Lane, S.N., O’Connell, E., Penning-Rowsell, E.,  Reynard, N., Sear, D., Thorne, C.,  and Wilby, R. (2017) A restatement of the natural science evidence concerning catchment-based “natural” flood management in the United Kingdom. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 473, 20160706, doi: 10.1098/rspa.2016.0706.