Craven District Council

Skip Navigation

Craven District Council

Gallow Syke Flood Water Management Scheme

This webpage provides information on a scheme to improve water management along a watercourse known as Gallow Syke in Skipton.

This is the first part of a wider scheme to improve vehicular access for the Engine Shed Lane and Ings Lane industrial estate – further information on this scheme can be found here: Engine Shed Lane and Ings Lane Highway Improvement Scheme

Location of Gallow Syke

Gallow Syke is a small river and tributary of the River Aire, located to the west of Skipton town centre. Gallow Syke flows in a southerly direction from north of Gargrave Road, near Aireville Grange, through Aireville Park to the west of Craven Leisure (swimming pool).

The river then culverts under the Canal and areas of residential and industrial land before joining with Ings Beck at the junction of Broughton Road and Ings Lane.  The river is principally an open channel passing through areas of woodland and grassland but with a series of culverts where the Syke is crossed by roads and footpaths.

A Location Plan of Gallow Syke can be viewed here – Gallow Syke Location Plan


Gallow Syke is a tributary of Ings Beck and the River Aire and partially contributes to flooding on Engine Shed Lane and the Ings Lane area. The Syke features a number of culverts with poor quality inlets that require improvement to reduce the occurrence of blockages and make it easier to undertake routine maintenance.

Whilst undertaking this improvement work there is an opportunity to better manage the flow of water with the aim of reducing flooding down stream of Aireville Park.

Through the proposals in this scheme and in normal conditions Gallow Syke will continue to flow as normal and the land upstream of the two culvert inlets will remain dry. In periods of high rainfall there is an opportunity provided by the topography of Gallow Syke to store water by creating a physical restriction on the size of the culvert inlet.

During high rainfall events the level of Gallow Syke will then rise and water will be stored temporarily upstream of the culvert inlet and be slowly released following the peak of the storm. During conditions where the stored water reaches a defined height an additional overflow will be available to divert water back into the culvert and reduce the possibility of wider flooding.

Where will the works be delivered?

Two discrete pieces of work are to be delivered at the entrances to two culverts along Gallow Syke. For information on the locations of the proposed work please see the Location Plan – Gallow Syke Location Plan

For information ‘Area 1’ was considered during the development of the scheme, but has now been removed. For clarity the numbering of works has remained the same.

‘Area 2’ - Adjacent to the Craven Leisure Access Road.

This location is in a ‘v’ shaped valley directly to the north of the Craven Leisure access road. The works at this location involves the construction of a new headwall (culvert inlet) directly to the north of the access road. This will enable the creation of a temporary storage area for flood water via the introduction of a restriction to the upstream end of the existing culvert along with a high-level overflow. The structure will sit low within the valley with the majority of infrastructure not visible from the road. Access to the headwall structure will be fenced with locked gates. To enable better maintenance a small layby will also be created.

Looking downstream showing culvert inlet:   

downstream showing culvert inlet

Looking upstream from top of banking by Aireville Park access road:

upstream from top of banking by Aireville Park access road

‘Area 3’ - Adjacent to the Leeds Liverpool Canal

Area 3 is located directly to the north of the Leeds Liverpool Canal where Gallow Syke culverts under Canal and residential areas to the south. This area is already subject to flooding during storm events and, using the topography of the Canal, this area will operate in a similar way to area 2.

To ensure the stability of the Canal, placement of additional earthworks to strengthen the existing canal embankment and to create a uniform profile at the top of the embankment will take place. A new online headwall with trash screen and overflow chamber will be created along with a new maintenance track, with access to new headwall structure.

Looking downstream showing culvert inlet: 

downstream showing culvert inlet

Looking upstream from top of Canal banking:

upstream from top of canal banking

As with area 2 tree removal will be necessary to gain access to the site and construct the new structure. This will be minimised where possible in line with the approved planning application and further tree planting will take place within the Gallow Syke catchment.

What other works will be delivered?

To implement the works some removal of trees will be required around the culvert entrances. This will allow the new structures to be built and provide access to the sites.

Following the tree work and construction of the new structures the District Council will be undertaking further tree and shrub planting that will also help reduce areas of bare ground and silt being washed downstream.

What permissions have the works received?

The proposed works have secured planning permission from the Local Planning Authority which included the submission of a series of drawings showing the proposed works, and a Flood Risk Assessment which demonstrates how the scheme will operate and that it does not increase flood risk to any existing property or structure and a series of ecological and arboricultural studies and reports.

The planning application can be viewed at the following link and searching for application number 2019/21002/FUL

Who will be constructing the scheme?

The District Council is currently working with contractors Galliford Try to progress the delivery of advanced works which commenced on 23 September 2020 followed by the main works later in 2020.

During the delivery of the advanced and main works Galliford Try will be managed by WSP UK Ltd., the District Council’s principal designer and contract manager.

When further information is available Galliford Try will establish a dedicated webpage to update on progress and construction works that are due to take place. 

When are the works going to be constructed?

The District Council is working towards the scheme being constructed during autumn of 2020. Once further information is available from the contractor this section of the webpage will be updated.

How is the work being funded?

The District Council has secured a Government ‘Local Growth Fund’ grant via the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver the scheme. The work in this project forms part of the wider ‘Employment and Housing Growth in Skipton’ project.