Highways England Natural Flood Management Fund

Organisation: Highways England

Location: England (North West & North East)

Welcome to the Highways England Natural Flood Management Fund

The Fund has been set up to support farmers and landowners in the implementation of measures that work with natural processes to reduce flood risk to the major road network (‘A’ roads and motorways).  The Fund is being piloted in parts of the Little Don, River Etherow and River Irwell catchments. In total five focus areas are being piloted in the catchments.

What is Natural Flood Management?

Natural Flood Management (NFM) is an emerging approach to addressing flood risk. NFM measures slow or store water in the landscape by emulating or enhancing natural processes.

Every landowner is likely to be able to contribute to natural flood risk management, irrespective of location within the catchment, and therefore can play an important role in reducing flooding in downstream areas.

The diagram shows some of the example measures available through the Highways England NFM Fund.

  1. LM01.1 – Vegetated buffer strips
  2. LM01.2 – Cross-slope woodland & hedgerows
  3. LM02.1 – Reducing soil compaction
  4. LM02.2 – Mixed species herbal ley
  5. LM02.3 – Cover crops
  6. FR01.1 – Overland leaky barrier
  7. FR01.2 – Flow pathway bund

8. FR02.1 – Offline storage pond
9. FR02.2 – Online storage pond
10. FR02.3 – Swales
11. WC01.1 – In-channel leaky barriers
12. WC01.2 – Headwater woody bundles
13. WC01.3 – Moorland grip and gully blocking

About the fund

The Fund is being financed by Highways England, as part of £936M of designated funding made available over the next five years to deliver lasting benefits to the environment and communities. It is a pilot to explore how Highways England can work with farmers and landowners to reduce flood risk on sections of the strategic road network  known to be particularly vulnerable to flooding.

The Fund is hosted by the Mersey Rivers Trust (Irwell and Etherow) and Don Catchment River Trust (Little Don), with support provided by Atkins Limited. The Fund Handbook provides all the information needed to plan, bid for and implement NFM measures. Should you decide to make an application to the NFM Fund, you can bid through the Application Page to the Fund.

Eligible areas

During the pilot phase, the Fund will only be available for focus areas that have been identified within the Little Don, River Etherow and River Irwell catchments. You can view the eligible areas using the map below.

☐ Pilot catchments       ▨ Focus areas

How to apply and find out more

Explore the documents and links below to find out more about the fund and how you can apply.

Application Page to the Fund

Go to the Highways England bidding platform.

Start application

NFM Fund Handbook

Providing a summary of the entire Fund process.

Download handbook

NFM Measures Booklet

Giving an overview of the measures that can be implemented.

Download booklet

Design Specification Catalogue

Detailing how to design, implement and maintain measures.

Download catalogue

Step by step guide

Find out how to make an application.

Download guidance

Terms and Conditions

Read the terms and conditions of the Fund.

View T&Cs

NFM Fund helpline

If you need any assistance preparing or making an application to the NFM Fund, please contact your local Catchment Advisor. See Handbook for more details. Alternatively you can contact the NFM Fund Helpline by telephone (01332 225 901) or email (NFMadvice@atkinsglobal.com).

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