Backstone Beck

Modelling multiple issues for the benefit of stakeholders

The aim of this project is to build an open-source rain-on-grid catchment and river model for the Backstone Beck, on Ilkley Moor, using rainfall and river flow monitoring data collected over the past three years by the Environment Agency, Bradford City Council, Moors for the Future and Yorkshire Water.

NFM Modelling

This model will be used to assess recently implemented Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures and to support partners with changes in the catchment proposed for the future.
It will build modelling methodologies refined in other iCASP projects including the NFM in Calderdale project, but has the advantage of access to a significant quantity of monitoring data at the site. The work will also be used to test application of the new CIRIA national guidance on NFM due to be released later this year.
Assessing the effectiveness of natural flood management measures (NFM) recently implemented in the Backstone Beck catchment is the focus of the monitoring to help reduce flood risk downstream. This hasn’t been achieved by other DEFRA projects and the project will develop modelling method guidance for practitioners that is applicable to other sites nationally.

Partnership Working

New data, the practicalities of NFM implementation and a new awareness of the integration of surface water management issues means there is a new opportunity to integrate these multiple efforts with best practice derived from the existing iCASP NFM work.
An aim is to provide partners with a better holistic understanding of how any changes will impact on the surface water in the catchment.  Partners will be encouraged to co-develop and co-fund a mutually beneficial open model that transcends individual interests.

Project team

Dr Mark Trigg, University of Leeds; iCASP Impact Translation Fellows Dr Richard Grayson and Dr Tom Willis.


Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Bradford Metropolitan District Council – working with Friends Of Ilkley Moor, Moors For the Future, EU Interreg North Sea Region SCORE (Smart Cities and Open Data Reuse), Dales Land Net