Somerset using nature to reduce flood risk

Three projects that will use nature to reduce flood risk in and around Somerset are moving forward thanks to £2.53 million in European grants.

Somerset County Council bid for funding for the schemes that will help the county adapt to climate change by reducing flood risk through natural flood management rather than engineering. The resulting ‘Co-adapt’ project will bring £2.53 million from the European Regional Development Fund into Somerset over the next three-and-a-half years for the projects on the Levels, Porlock Vale and the River Culm catchment.

David Hall, cabinet member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “Natural approaches to reducing flood risk are often less invasive and can be more sustainable in the longer term. Councils across Somerset and the rest of the country declared a climate emergency earlier this year and these projects complement that perfectly. Like all effective climate change initiatives, they are the result of great partnership working.”

The Somerset Flood Action Plan, drawn-up in the wake of the 2013/14 winter floods, included a commitment to develop long-term land management actions to reduce flood risk in the face of climate change.

The projects receiving funding are: the Flood Plain Resilience Project; Porlock Vale Streams Project; and the River Culm Catchment.