Storm Barbara and some smaller gales brought similar problems to Nidd Gorge as the river Nidd Levels rose dramatically, bringing down trees and piling debris against the Burgess Bridge again. Thankfully our Boardwalk and Footpath repairs held up well and river bank damage was slight. However the log jam at Burgess Bridge threatened the integrity of the structure. The problem was compounded by dislodged Alder Trees which came to rest on the debris and started putting down roots. Unless the problem is tackled urgently the tonnes of accumulated debris becomes choked with silt, adding to the pressure on the bridge piers.
The Environment Agency came to the rescue, with a team of eight specialists taking two full days with a High Wheel Tractor and winch. Probably 15 tonnes of trees and loose timber were dragged ashore, clear of the flood-line, sawn up and stacked in ‘habitat piles’ to rot biodegrade naturally over the next decade.Thanks to the EA for their prompt action in saving the bridge!