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Professional Short Courses

COURSE TITLE: How to make better constructed wetlands

INSTRUCTORS Reverend Dave Walker
Brian C. Smith

COURSE DESCRIPTION Date – July 18, 2019 1:00pm
Title - How to make better constructed wetlands
Presenters – Reverend Dave Walker and Brian Smith

Abstract – The Gosforth Valley wetland is owned and managed by Yorkshire Water with the support of the Dronfield Town Council and the Lea Brook Valley Volunteers. Innovatively created to control stormwater, its main purpose is to help protect the town of Dronfield from flooding. Designed to store excess water during times of heavy rainfall, it collects water from surrounding urban areas that may otherwise flood. Further development and continuous improvement of the site has enhanced the beauty, amenities and wildlife habitat of the valley for the benefit of the residents and wildlife.

This wetland is very important for the conservation of wildlife within Dronfield and North East Derbyshire and includes many native trees and plants which help to improve the amenity and biodiversity of the site. The habitat has been developed to support wetland bird species such as shoveller (Anas clypeata), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), and snipe (Gallinago gallinago), invertebrates such as the common darter (dragonfly) (Sympetrum striolatum), water boatman (Notonecta glauca) and water flea (Bosmina longirostris); amphibians such as the common frog (Rana temporaria) and common toad (Bufo bufo) and mammals such as the European water vole (Arvicola amphibius).

This site is a great example of how working together through partnering and trust supports community, educational and environmental enhancement. The site enhances biodiversity by maintaining and introducing new habitats.

Volunteers work with local conservation groups, the LPC, Yorkshire Water and others, carrying out many activities, such as conserving the local ancient hedgerow, creating a nature trail, providing interpretation boards, tree planting, etc.

Bios –

Reverend Dave Walker
Commercial Director Detectronic Ltd
Priest in the Church of England

Dave began his career in the Water Industry as a Field Service Technician in 1989. With qualifications initially in Electronics, he later gained a BSc (Hons) from Sheffield Hallam University in Environmental Management, and more recently being awarded a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Sheffield.

Dave has actively worked in the flow survey industry for over 30 years and has experience of operating flow surveys in the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. His work has been wide ranging from permanent flow measurement within the Mersey Estuary Pollution Alleviation Programme to short- and long-term flow surveys in urban and rural drainage area catchments and SuDS. Dave studied at Sheffield Hallam University where his work focused on sewer flow measurement instrumentation and practices.

Recently gaining a BA in Theology at the University of Sheffield, and becoming ordained Priest in the Church of England, Reverend Dave balances his time as a commercial Director and Priest, working with utilities and local communities on the successful management of SuDS, specializing in urban wetland management.

Through his missional work with the church, Dave is pioneering several collaborative programs geared to the long-term management of SuDS. This work is successfully bringing together expertise from secular business, National/International Utilities, and local community groups.

Brian C Smith
Drainage Strategy Manager
Yorkshire Water Services

With a broad, diverse skill base and technical expertise, Brian has over 40 years’ experience across engineering disciplines relevant to the Water Industry, gained both in public and private sector and strategic roles in Yorkshire Water. A consummate professional, committed to providing consistent high standards, with an ability to maintain focus and identify issues and risks that are important to the Sector.

Brian provides strategic intelligence on matters relating to sewerage, the environment, and strategic planning and development. He has established a clear policy framework for storm and wastewater network strategies; and innovative, intelligence driven solutions to ensure Yorkshire Water is prepared to overcome future challenges in this area and achieve its’ vision and strategic objectives.

He represents the Company at a national level on technical, regulatory and legislative issues and is Chair of the Water UK surface water management network. He is the UK representative for British Standards on the development of an International Standard (ISO) for stormwater management in urban areas.

Credit Points: 0.06

SYLLABUS/TOPICAL OUTLINE 1. (15 min) Introduction to the Gosforth Valley wetland. This includes geographic location, creation, purpose and function, and proposed enhancements and improvements. 2. (15 min) Descriptions of the flora and fauna served by the wetland. 3. (15 min.) Cooperative relationships between stakeholders in the maintenance and protection of the wetland’s engineering, biological, and cultural aspects. 4. (15 min.) Questions and answers.

Brian Smith
Western House, Western Way, Bradford, BD6 2SZ
P: 07790 616335


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Last Updated 10/1/20