- 16th June 2016
- Posted by: Joanne Woodhouse
- Category: Projects
In recent years the Environment Agency has been reducing the extent of watercourse management and reviewing the continued operation of pumping stations where these measures mainly benefit agricultural land. In response, farmers and landowners in the Lyth Valley and Waver Wampool catchments in Cumbria are seeking to establish the first new Internal Drainage Boards (IDB) in over 30 years. IDBs are largely funded by the benefitting land owners and the local authorities within the proposed IDB area, so a majority agreement is required through consultation on Justification Statements (business cases).
We have been working with the NFU to produce business cases for the economic, social and environmental justification of new IDBs in these areas. This has involved using GIS based and more qualitative methods to understand the impact of maintaining, increasing or decreasing maintenance in these catchments to communities and the natural environment.
We were the first to use the new ada/Environment Agency Guidance – Establishing New Internal Drainage Boards to produce Justification Statements for Cumbria. We have worked through the challenges of undertaking a pilot study to develop a method that is available to help other rural communities who are looking maintain land drainage spending through alternative methods.