Natural Flood Management is a way of working with natural processes to help manage the risk of flooding to people and properties. It involves techniques such as slowing the flow and storing water where it’s safe to do so until flood waters recede. It has many benefits for the environment such as creating and enhancing habitat for a variety of wildlife including fish, invertebrates, mammals and birds.
Natural Flood Management is only expected to have an impact during the more regular flooding events, with the types of features being trialled unlikely to have an impact during large events. However, the more of these features that are constructed in the catchment, the more of an impact they will collectively have in reducing flood risk to properties.
There are four schemes in development in the Broadland Rivers Catchment forming part of a nationwide pilot by Defra looking into the impacts of Natural Flood Management. The scheme locations are: Buxton on the Camping Beck (Bure); Worthing on the Blackwater and Whitewater confluence (Wensum); Marlingford on the main Yare; Ingworth on the Upper Bure.
The Environment Agency is working with Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Board, Broadland Catchment Partnership and the Dudwick Estate to help manage the risk of flooding to properties along the Camping Beck in Buxton. The works will involve diverting flood waters into a storage feature adjacent to the Camping Beck, above Buxton village. This will act to hold back flood water temporarily until levels recede whilst also providing habitat that will attract a variety of wildlife. This project will be monitored until 2021 when we will have gathered evidence and data into the impacts. Monitoring will consist of a mixture of pre and post ecological, hydrometric and physical habitat surveys. For more information see the Environment Agency fact sheet.
The Environment Agency is working with landowners, the Norfolk Rivers Trust and the Broadland Catchment Partnership to help manage the risk of flooding to properties in Worthing while also improving the area for wildlife. The works will be carried out on both the Blackwater and Whitewater (also known as the Wendling Beck). The Natural Flood Management plans are currently in the final design stage but will involve reconnecting the river to the floodplain, installation of leaky dams and woody debris to slow the flow and some day-lighting in the wooded areas to allow more light through to the channel.
The Environment Agency is working with Great Melton Farms, Natural England and Broadland Catchment Partnership to help manage the risk of flooding in Marlingford to properties from the River Yare, whilst also improving the habitat available for wildlife. The works will involve installing a series of flow deflectors and lengths of woody debris into the river channel of the River Yare at Marlingford. These structures will add to and diversify the habitat available within the channel for wildlife, alongside physically backing up water levels to encourage it out and onto the floodplain more frequently than is currently able. Scrapes will be dug within the floodplain to increase water storage capacity and provide habitat forwarding birds, such as lapwing, teal, and snipe, invertebrates and other wildlife. For more information see the Environment Agency fact sheet.
The Environment Agency is working with landowners, the National Trust and Broadland Catchment Partnership to help manage the risk of flooding to properties near Ingworth above Aylsham while also improving the area for wildlife. The works will be carried out on the drains which run through the meadows rather than on the main channel of the Bure. Proposed interventions include embankment lowering to allow the river to reconnect with the meadows in high flow, leaky log jams to slow the flow and surface runoff attenuation features.