Natural Flood Management handbook

12th November 2018 - General Catchment

We’re pleased to announce the publication of our ‘Natural Flood Management handbook: a practical guide for farmers’

The handbook provides practical advice to farmers and landowners on all the different ways land management can help reduce flood risk and how these fit into farm businesses. Natural Flood Management covers a whole range of measures that hold flood water in the landscape for longer whilst delivering other benefits such as cleaning water, storing carbon or improving habitat. 

The booklet outlines the different ways of reducing the amount and speed of water reaching towns and villages such as: keeping soil in good condition, creating and restoring hedgerows, installing leaky woody barriers, managing and planting trees and creating swales to divert runoff. There is information provided on what the measures involve, how much they might cost and what funding could be available for implementing them.

Natural Flood Management is not the complete solution to flooding but it can help, particularly for smaller rivers, and reduce the pressure on engineered flood defences. The aim isn’t to make land wetter but to hold water in the landscape for just a few hours longer during a storm then let water drain away slowly. This will reduce the amount of water travelling downstream all at once and help reduce the occurrence of devastating flood events.

Copies of the booklet can be picked up from our offices at Keswick Convention Centre, Skiddaw Street, Keswick, or viewed online. It contains lots of sources of advice and contact details of organisations involved in managing flood risk and the natural environment. The guide is based on a similar booklet produced by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority which was requested by landowners and has been very well received. The booklet has been funded by West Cumbria Rivers Trust, Newground, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Environment Agency.

This is part of the wider work of West Cumbria Rivers Trust and partner organisations aiming to increase the uptake of natural flood management measures. We are delivering natural flood management projects, holding workshops and group meetings and visiting farmers for one to one discussions about the opportunities on their land. We would love to hear from any interested landowners.