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Herefordshire Council Notice

THE NATURAL FLOOD MANAGEMENT PROJECT

The following description of the Natural Flood Management (NFM) Project is taken from Herefordshire Council’s recent letter to the Parish Council:

The Herefordshire Wye and Lugg Natural Flood Management (NFM) project is one of 24 catchment scale projects funded by the recent £15m DEFRA allocation for NFM projects in England (funding secured until 31 March 2021). It is one of four catchment scale projects in the Environment Agency West Midlands area together with three community scale NFM projects. The project has four main objectives:

  • Reduce flood risk to local communities;

  • Gather evidence and develop our knowledge around NFM where there are currently gaps;

  • Engage communities around NFM and develop partnerships; and

  • Deliver wider benefits, e.g. water quality, enhanced biodiversity, socio economic benefits.


  • The Project’s initial focus will be around bringing NFM into key Flood and Coastal Risk Management (FCRM) schemes, as well as working in seven priority sub-catchments which experience both local flooding and water quality issues:

  • Cheaton / Cogwell / Ridgemoor Brook system (above Leominster and Frome);

  • Tedstone Brook (above Bromyard);

  • Dulas Brook (above Ewyas Harold);

  • Pentaloe Brook (above Mordiford);

  • The Red, Norton and Twyford Brook system (above Rotherwas, Hereford);

  • The Bodenham and Millcroft Brooks (above Bodenham); and

  • Brimfield Brook (above Brimfield and Orleton).


  • Herefordshire Council are the lead organisation for the Project, working in partnership with the Environment Agency and other key delivery partners, including but not limited to, Severn Rivers Trust and the Wye and Usk Foundation to ensure the Project is delivered successfully. Mrs Bethany Lewis has been employed by Herefordshire Council as the Project Officer and is therefore the main point of contact for this Project. To help local delivery, Severn Rivers Trust and the Wye and Usk Foundation will be employing Catchment Advisors who will be engaging with landowners and advising them as to how they can use natural processes.

    NFM is based around the principle of working with natural processes to help slow down the flow of water, aiming to hold the water back in the upper reaches of the catchment to help reduce the risk of flooding to downstream communities. NFM can involve a variety of things including; working with farmers to help improve their land management practices with the aim of increasing soil infiltration, installing attenuation features (e.g. ponds and wetlands), and building leaky woody structures which help slow the flow of water down the channel. The two videos below help demonstrate this idea.

    http://www.highwaterfilm.co.uk/

    http://www.highwaterfilm.co.uk/library/

    It is really important to get communities involved with the Project and it is therefore planned to set up NFM Community Groups within the catchments who will draw on their local knowledge to help guide the Project. The NFM Community Group would be made up of local resident and key delivery organisations, e.g. Herefordshire Council, Flood Action Group, Catchment Advisors, Environment Agency and key landowners.

    As part of the Defra funding requirement the Project must also gather evidence on the benefits and impacts of NFM. A monitoring plan is therefore being produced for the Project which includes things like river flow and level monitoring and soil monitoring. It is also hoped to set up some citizen science projects which will rely on volunteers, e.g. fixed point photography monitoring of watercourses responses to flooding or wildlife and habitat studies. The details of these monitoring plans are still being finalised, however it would be great to draw on local knowledge and interests to set up these citizen science projects.

    In order to inform the communities about the Project and encourage community engagement ‘project launch’ events will be organised in each of the catchments. The project launch event for the Bodenham & Millcroft brooks catchment was held on the evening of Wednesday, 23th January 2019 at the Siward James Centre Bodenham, HR1 3LS and was attended by about 35 local residents.

    To see the poster and a map of the twin catchment areas of the Millcroft and Moor Brooks, which are the focus for the Bodenham part of the overall NFM Project, please click on the ‘more details’ link below.

    You can also see Herefordshire Council’s press release by going to https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/news/article/717/natural_flood_management_project_heads_to_bodenham.


    Date: 12/01/2019
    Link: Click here for more details

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