Natural Flood Management Measures: A Practical Guide for Farmers (North West)

Organisation: Cumbria Strategic Flood Partnership

Location: North West

Type: Technical Support & Training

Link: Visit Website

This guide has been developed to provide simple, clear information on natural flood management measures for landowners and farmers in the North West.

Flooding is a natural process but it can have devastating consequences for people and property. With climate change science predicting an increase in occurrence and severity of high rainfall events, we need to change the way we think about managing flood risk.

Traditionally, flood defences in the U.K. have included large-scale, hard engineering in and around towns; flood banks and small-scale engineering for rural communities and farmland; and coastal engineering. There is increasing interest nationally in how the management of the wider landscape can reduce the risk of flooding to towns and villages by slowing the speed of water coming off the hills and temporarily storing water in areas where it will not cause damage. This is known as Natural Flood Management (NFM). Natural Flood Management techniques can be used alongside more traditional methods to reduce reliance on engineered defences and make our catchments more resilient.

Natural flood management involves implementing measures to restore or mimic natural functions of rivers, floodplains and the wider catchment, to store water in the landscape and slow the rate at which water runs off the landscape into rivers. Natural flood management takes many different forms and different terminology such as ‘working with natural processes’, green engineering, sustainable land management or runoff attenuation are also used to describe the techniques used. Every farm will have features that, with some enhancement, could play a role in natural flood management.

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