Natural Flood Management

Flooding across Europe has got worse in recent years.  People have tried for centuries to manage water, usually wanting to move it off land and through catchments as quickly as possible. This has often been done by draining land, and by deepening and straightening river channels. When we get very heavy rainfall, all that water needs to go somewhere and when embankments and other flood defenses are built, the river can no longer interact with its floodplain. This can mean that other, unprotected areas have bigger and longer lasting floods.

The economic cost of building and maintaining traditional flood defences is increasing and is sometimes hard to justify when small communities need protection. Interest has grown in finding more cost effective and sustainable approaches. Natural Flood Management (NFM) aims to work with natural river processes and habitats to slow down and store flood water .

Many studies and reports have been produced – see our list below for links