Helping to build local flood resilience through Natural Flood Management

Helping to build local flood resilience through Natural Flood Management

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Following the release of the Environment Agency and Defra's £25 million Natural Flood Management programme in September 2023, we have been supporting Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) through several aspects of their NFM projects.

Natural Flood Management (NFM) uses natural processes to reduce the risk of flooding. These processes protect, restore, and mimic the natural functions of catchments, floodplains and the coast to slow and store water. NFM can also provide wider environmental and societal benefits including enhancing habitats and biodiversity, improving water quality and availability of drinking water, carbon capture as well as boosting health and wellbeing.

In September 2023 the Environment Agency and Defra announced a new Natural Flood Management programme, a £25 million funding initiative for improving flood resilience. The government has committed to double the number of government-funded projects that include nature-based solutions to reduce flooding and coastal erosion risk. This will help enhance flood and coast resilience and nature recovery as set out in the FCERM Strategy Roadmap to 2026.

Many Local Authorities and other Risk Management Authorities are using NFM as part of a suite of options to reduce flood risk in locations where traditional flood schemes are not possible.

How are we involved?

We have supported many Local Authorities across England, Scotland and Wales through several aspects of NFM projects including the development of the expression of interest applications for the £25 million programme funding in England. Aspects of our services include:

Interested in our Practical Feasibility and Appraisal for NFM Delivery training course? Ideal for NFM practitioners looking to build their understanding of NFM feasibility and appraisal processes. We also offer bespoke training courses based on your requirements. Visit our training page, or contact our training co-ordinator Katy Tunney for more information.

Kirklees Council NFM Prioritisation (2023 - 2024) - NFM Potential Mapping and Hydraulic Modelling

Kirklees Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority covering a number of river catchments across West Yorkshire spanning approximately 400km². We were appointed to explore the potential for NFM to contribute to flood resilience for the communities served by Kirklees Council. This was undertaken through prioritisation analysis in relation to Water Framework Directive status, hydrometric evidence, hydrological functioning and hydrogeology. This was linked with 2D catchment scale surface water runoff modelling for NFM quantification along with site specific NFM ground truthing surveys to identify key sites within the 400km² boundary. This resulted in three sites being taken forward for the £25 million programme funding application and five additional sites being identified for further development such as landowner engagement and identification of potential funding sources.

Calderdale Council NFM Surveys (2021 - 2024)

We were appointed by Calderdale Council to investigate the efficiency of a runoff attenuation basin. We undertook detailed surveys and linked these with hydraulic modelling to investigate the efficacy of the attenuation basin element of the NFM scheme, to comment on the concerns (breaching/exceedance) of a resident living in a property downslope and offer any recommendations.

We are also supporting Calderdale Council in an assessment of NFM feasibility/prioritisation in relation to known rural highway flooding hotspots across West Yorkshire spanning approximately 364km². The aim is to identify five key schemes to be taken forward to detailed design for NFM implementation in the catchment above these hotspots, in order to reduce the risk of flooding to important rural transportation infrastructure.

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Want to know more?

For more information about our NFM services, please contact Steve Rose.

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