Traditional terracing

Code: 
A10
Sector: 
Agriculture
The complete description of the NWRM: 
Summary: 

Traditional terraces consist of nearly level platforms built along contour lines of slopes, mostly sustained by stone walls, used for farming on hilly terrain.  By reducing the effective slope of land, terracing can reduce erosion and surface run-off by slowing rainwater to a non-erosive velocity. This also increases the degree if infiltration and improves soil moisture.  However, abandonment of traditional terracing can result in high levels of erosion and run-off due to the lack of maintenance of stone walls. Abandonment can also change the nature of local flora and fauna; this may not be beneficial, for example the spontaneous regeneration of vegetation can present a risk of wild fire spread on sloping land.

This measure focuses on existing or traditional terracing as it involves less disturbance of the terrain than modern terracing such as significant levelling or cutting using heavy machinery. As the measure is highly labour intensive and costly to implement the focus of the measure would be in maintaining existing terracing rather than expansion.

Illustration(s): 

 

Traditional terracing in montane area

Source: Gonzalo Delacámara’s presentation, NWRM Workshop 1 (Spain)

Possible benefits with level: 
Benefits Levelsort descending
BP2 - Slow runoff High
BP10 - Reduce erosion and/or sediment delivery High
ES8 - Erosion/sediment control High
PO9 - Take adequate and co-ordinated measures to reduce flood risks High
BP1 - Store runoff High
ES11 - Aesthetic/cultural value High
ES7 - Flood risk reduction Medium
ES9 - Filtration of pollutants Medium
PO3 - Improving status of hydromorphology quality elements Medium
PO7 - Prevent surface water status deterioration Medium
PO11 - Better protection for ecosystems and more use of Green Infrastructure Medium
PO12 - More sustainable agriculture and forestry Medium
PO14 - Prevention of biodiversity loss Medium
Last updated: 08 Jun 2015 | Top