Mill dike is a small tributary of the River Wharfe, which flows through the civil parish of South Milford in the district of Shelby. The Mill dike catchment includes the settlements of Newthorpe, South Milford and Micklefield and is largely agricultural, with a mix of arable and livestock farming. South Milford village suffers from regular flooding. The river is culverted underneath the village and floods occur when debris builds up on the culvert screen or in the bottom of the culvert. This leads to the culvert getting blocked up and it’s capacity decreasing rapidly, meaning the flow will exceed the culverts capacity and flood much more often.
Further, all the streams in the catchment are failing to achieve ‘Good’ ecological condition under the Water Framework Directive (an EU policy that protects and cleans all water catchments and sources). This is associated with high levels of Phosphates leading to ‘moderate’ communities of Macrophytes and Phytobenthos (small plants). The Environment Agency has identified this area as a priority for water quality improvements and the Dales to Vales River Network has shaped a project to reduce sediment and nutrient inputs into the streams. Reducing the amount of sediment and debris entering Mill Dike upstream from South Milford village will also help to reduce flood risk.
This project has received £15,000 of funding from the Environment Agency and further funds are being sought from other sources.