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9. Floods after moorland fires

Moorland fires can have a significant impact on the landscape due to the loss of vegetation.

This can affect the local environment in a number of ways, including:

  • The lack of trees, shrubs and vegetation on the ground, and the change in the moorland surface, can increase the runoff of water during rainfall, increasing the chance of flooding in some places
  • During heavy rain, runoff may cause flash flooding. These are fast flowing and can carry debris
  • Flash floods after fires are more likely to cause erosion of river beds and banks due to an increase of debris
  • Rocks and soil are more easily dislodged, potential blocking grids, gullies and culverts, for example.

What we are doing to help

The Environment Agency is responsible for managing the risk of flooding from the sea and main rivers, and also for regulating the safety of reservoirs.

The council is a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and has powers and duties for managing flooding from local sources, namely ordinary watercourses, surface water (overland runoff) and groundwater in the administrative area of Oldham.

Across the borough the council and our partners are working on a number of short and long term flood reduction schemes to tackle issues in known flood zones – this will help reduce the potential for damage to properties or infrastructure.

How you can help

We’re appealing to landowners to help us ‘slow the flow’

Over the last few years we’ve been busy planting thousands of trees across the borough – and this is set to continue.

It’s part of our campaign to build natural defences against flooding, working alongside ongoing infrastructure improvements to structures, culverts and bridges.

The extra trees will help to reduce the impact of local flooding in some areas while also supporting and improving the environment and landscape.

Now, can you do your bit by joining us and planting trees on your land.

There is funding available to pay for the trees and help will be provided via the council, and our partner agencies.

For more information email

Help us to help you

Do you live in an area that has flooded regularly over the year? If so we want to hear from you. Please contact us with details, including the address, and as much detail as possible at

Preparing for a flood

People and pets

  • Listen to your local radio and TV weather forecasts and for advice from the emergency services
  • Alert your neighbours, particularly the elderly
  • Store food and water upstairs
  • Bring caged outdoor pets inside
  • Move all pets with food, water, bedding and litter trays upstairs

Property and furniture

  • Move your car to higher ground
  • Roll up carpets and rugs and move them out of the way
  • Empty furniture drawers and cupboards
  • Take furniture upstairs, if possible
  • Raise furniture on bricks and pull away from the wall
  • Weigh down furniture which is too heavy to move
  • Fasten plastic bags around the legs of wooden furniture to help minimise absorption of water
  • Take down curtains or wrap them round the curtain pole
  • Store valuable or sentimental items and important documents upstairs

Electrics and gas

  • Move computers and other electrical equipment upstairs or above the flood level
  • Turn off mains gas and electricity
  • Disconnect electrical appliances

Drains and plumbing

  • Put plugs in sinks and weigh them down with something heavy to prevent backflow from the drains
  • Weigh down the toilet seat


Sandbags are not generally effective in preventing water entering properties. The council does not provide sandbags directly to property owners, occupants or businesses. However, they can be sourced from local builders merchants

More information and contacts