- 25th August 2017
- Posted by: Sabina Gubbin
- Category: Projects
Earlier this year the Environment Agency (EA) released a project to look at the development of potential Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures to reduce flood risk to communities along the River Wyre in Lancashire. They identified three elements within this which would inform the overall outcome of the project:
- Fluvial audit
- Landscape study
- Modelling exercise
The project was announced as part of the £15 million Defra government funding for NFM schemes across England. The projects identified by this funding provide an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of NFM, add to the EA’s NFM evidence base and help to develop innovative solutions for the future.
We were initially commissioned to undertake stage one – the fluvial audit – for the Wyre project. To start with we undertook a catchment wide fluvial audit involving a walkover of 125km of watercourse within the 450km2 Wyre catchment.
Our iPad application “GISmapp Geomorph” was utilised to provide a standardised field recording proforma, allowing accurate recording of forms and processes in the field using GPS.
Following the audit, an ArcGIS database was developed, mapping the morphological reach types, sediment processes, floodplain character, hydraulic habitat, bank instability zones, as well as areas of channel modification and flow barriers. A desk based and historic trend analysis has accompanied the fluvial audit, including an assessment of historic maps, aerial photography, flood maps and LiDAR data.
From our initial fluvial audit work, the EA commissioned us further to undertake stage two – the landscape study – for the Wyre catchment. Rachelle Ngai, Environmental Analyst, is currently working on this part of the project. The landscape study will involve a detailed assessment of how the local hydrology functions and links to upland habitats in the upper Wyre catchment.
The detailed geomorphological understanding identified by the fluvial audit, and enhanced upon by the landscape study, will help in identifying a suite of NFM measures which will help reduce flood risk in communities along the Wyre, through upland habitat and drainage interventions. Both elements will then feed into the EA’s wider project outcomes once the modelling exercise, which is yet to be commissioned, is complete.