Natural Flood Management Programme – Interim Lessons Learnt

Organisation: Environment Agency

Location: National

Type: Research

Lessons learnt from NFM project managers and practitioners

The lessons are based on 122 responses from data collected via an on-line survey during the first
two weeks of September 2018 from the networks of project managers and NFM practitioners who
are taking part in the NFM trials.

This report groups the findings into 4 themes: Developing a programme, Valuing benefits and
project assessment, Partnership working, and Responsibilities and maintenance.
Five key lessons this work has found are

  1. Project teams require clarity on how projects proposals will be assessed and the steps that
    need to be taken to deliver their project, before proposals are invited. Additional support is
    needed for organisations who have limited experience in dealing with public money.
  2. Project teams were asked to commit to particular NFM interventions and an overall timetable
    up-front. NFM projects need to be adaptable in their approach, and should not be seen as fixed
    before practicalities have been agreed with local people.
  3. Project teams found it difficult to produce evidence of the benefits proposed as part of their
    business cases for NFM investment. Teams would like further information and expertise in how
    to assess and value the benefits and costs of NFM work.
  4. There is a clear need for investment of time and funding in engagement. Engagement is
    crucial to gaining support from landowners and other local people, and to forming and
    sustaining the partnerships needed for NFM.
  5. Engaging with landowners and managers to agree details of NFM works and clarify
    responsibilities is critical. Designs and timings can change as a result.


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