William Eichler 31 October 2017

Evidence supporting natural flood management published

The Environment Agency has today for the first time published all of the evidence about the role of natural flood management in reducing flood risk in one place.

Natural flood management is when natural processes are used to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion. It is an old concept but the Agency has brought all of the evidence together as part of an effort to encourage uptake.

The evidence behind natural flood management contains more than 60 case studies from across England and explores how successful the approach is, how it could be used elsewhere and what research may still be needed.

Examples of this natural way of reducing flood risks include, restoring bends in rivers, changing the way land is managed so soil can absorb more water and creating saltmarshes on the coast to absorb wave energy.

‘I often think improving flood resilience is like a mosaic, many different pieces need to come together to complete the resilience picture,’ John Curtin, executive director of Flood & Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency.

‘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.’

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