Natural flood management benefits highlighted

The Environment Agency has published data, case studies and evidence about the role of natural flood management in reducing flood risk.

Natural flood management is when natural processes are used to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion. The system works best when a ‘catchment based approach’ is taken, where a plan is developed to manage the flow of water along the whole length of a river catchment from its source to sea.

Natural flood management not only reduces flood risk it can also achieve multiple benefits for people and wildlife, helping restore habitats, improve water quality and helping make catchments more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

The evidence behind natural flood management, which contains over 60 case studies, shows how successful the approach is, how it could be used elsewhere and what research may still be needed.

John Curtin, executive director of Flood & Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said: “I often think improving flood resilience is like a mosaic, many different pieces need to come together to complete the resilience picture. Natural flood management is an important part of that mosaic when used alongside more traditional engineering. These projects also provide fantastic opportunities for community involvement and leadership.

“Many of our flood schemes already feature a mixture of hard and soft engineering and natural flood management. It can be a cost-effective and sustainable way to manage flood risk alongside traditional engineering, while creating habitat for wildlife and helping regenerate rural and urban areas through tourism.”

The government announced a £15 million for natural flood management schemes across England earlier this year.

Read Chris Uttley, rural SuDS project officer at Stroud District Council, write for Government Business about the Stroud Valleys Rural Sustainable Drainage Partnership Project here -