Welcome to Naturally Resilient

This page is dedicated to our Naturally Resilient Project, funded by the Princes Countryside Fund. It aims to deliver Natural Flood Management by working with natural processes in Wensleydale and Wharfedale.

What is Natural Flood Management?

Natural Flood Management (NFM) is a term which is  regularly used, but it can mean different things to different people.

Therefore throughout this project, we refer to NFM as:

“Working with natural processes to proactively manage sources and pathways of water through a catchment. Using techniques that intercept, slow and hold water through the restoration, alteration or enhancement of natural features within our landscapes. Ensuring multiple benefits that promotes catchment resilience.”

Why NFM?

Natural Flood Management will not prevent flooding, however it could be an integral part of our approach to manage flooding within the UK.

By working with natural processes and features within the landscape, NFM can deliver multiple benefits – improving connectivity, biodiversity and habitats that create greater resilience and adaptability within our catchments.

What are the techniques?

The techniques are broken down into three main categories

Slowing Water

The can include:

Riparian buffer strips

Riparian tree planting

Large Wood Debris features

Intercepting Water

The can include:

Woodland creation

Moorland restoration

Soil management

Holding Water

This can include:

Floodplain bunds

Flood bank removal

Sediment traps

Interesting information

In 2015 the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority commission the University of Leeds to conduct some flood modelling and compaction study for the Upper Ure catchment.

The study looked at two aspects:

  1. Flood modelling in Coverdale using a new spatially distributed form of TOPMODEL, to look at a number of different land cover change scenarios and what impact that had on flood risk
  2. Soil compaction survey in Bishopdale, looking at compaction issues throughout a catchment. As well as testing the impacts of buffer strips on compaction.

There were some fascinating results:

  • Stripping vegetation from 10 % of the catchment area along riparian zones could increase peak flows by 19 %. Placing denser vegetation in these areas could potentially reduce flood peak by 12 % during a 15 mm per hour rainfall event.
  • Compaction occurs on both steep and gentle gradient slope areas.

This project is funded by