Project Overview

The overall aim of the project is to recognise the place that the four becks (Town Beck, Back Beck, Lumb Beck and Wine Beck) have in Addingham and the wider countryside and to make them a focal point of the village and surrounding countryside with residents understanding their value in terms of habitat, biodiversity, water quality and their role in reducing flood risk.

There are worries about climate change and the prospect that the becks running through Addingham are increasingly unable to deal with severe storms without causing flood damage to properties. Boxing Day 2015 was the most recent example of flooding when there was a combination of surface water, rising groundwater and becks bursting their banks.

Today the becks are enjoyed simply for their presence and for the wildlife they contain. In the past Town Beck was valued for the energy it provided to drive water wheels, allowing Addingham to become a successful, and indeed famous, centre for textile manufacture. Now that function has gone the becks have become neglected.


The Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust is looking into the 4 becks in the Addingham area, focusing on the objective of improved flood resilience through surveys and by educating the community on what they can do to help. The work during the project will look to identify areas to improve flood resilience through Natural Flood Management (NFM) and Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS). 


Key Achievements in 2018-2019

  • 79 responses to flood questionnaire
  • 3 drop-in sessions (Waterflows and Flooding, Plants and
    Wildlife and Water Quality)
  • 3 training events held for beck stewards
  • Water quality sampling and analysis at 36 sample sites
    across the 4 becks
  • Created three circular walking routes
  • Engaged with 425 school children

Flood Resilience

Flood resilience is a key contemporary issue in Addingham, especially after the Boxing Day flooding that the village suffered in 2015. The project has looked at mapping flows and restrictions on the 4 becks to look at where flood resilience actions can be most effectively placed in the future. 

Future phases of the project will be looking to implement SuDS in Addingham and NFM measures in areas of the beck catchments that can help to reduce flood risk in the village.

Responses from the flooding questionnaires were used to make posters to for the flooding drop-in session which are linked below.

Drop-in Session Posters

There are numerous sites to find out the flood risk associated with your property including:

EA website / Flood RE / National Flood Forum


Implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in Addingham is a multi-benefit method of looking to slow the flow of surface water travelling into the 4 becks. SuDS use natural processes to act as stores of water within an urban catchment. Furthermore, SuDS do not just act to slow the flow of water reaching the becks but the natural processes will improve the water quality as nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are removed before impacting the watercourse.

More information can be found about SuDS on the susdrain website. A SuDS leaflet has been distributed through parts of the village to encourage residents to think about installing SuDS features in their homes to help slow the flow of water in Addingham.

Walking Paths

Link to the three walking routes around Addingham’s becks.

Water Quality

As one of the key objectives of the project, water quality data was collected through water samples taken with the help of the Beck Stewards. Samples were taken along all 4 becks of the Addingham area looking into factors such as nitrogen, phosphorus and inverts.

A water quality drop-in session was held on the 16th October 2019 to display the data collected to date and to get local people thinking about the status of the water flowing through the becks of Addingham.

Water Quality posters


View the posters from the Wildlife drop-in session below.

Beck Stewards

The Beck Stewards are a volunteer group in Addingham that help to monitor and look after the becks that they see as valuable assets to the village. They undertake a variety of activities year-round that gather data and positively impact the becks. The Beck Steward Handbook (Version 1 January 2020), details the role of a Beck Steward and provides information on what activities they can get involved with to help improve the becks of Addingham