- 26 Natural Flood Management features installed as Loughborough Farm commits to reducing flood risk downstream
- Large-scale Natural Flood Management capital works now completed in Loughborough
- The work is part of a £3.9 million investment funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Environment Agency and National Forest Company
11.07.22 An innovative Natural Flood Management scheme has been implemented in Charnwood Forest to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events and climate change. The work has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Environment Agency as part of a wider £3.9 million Landscape Partnership Scheme, hosted by the National Forest Company, to protect and enhance the Charnwood Forest Geopark.
As flood risk poses a real and growing threat to communities, the Defra-endorsed, nature-based approach is now gaining momentum alongside traditional grey infrastructure solutions in in the Soar catchment.
At Home Farm, organic livestock farmer, Marie Bond, is working with local charity Trent Rivers Trust to reduce flood risk and breathe new life into the geographically renowned area.
Working with the Trent Rivers Trust on their Natural Flood Management project, we feel has been interesting and beneficial to both the farm and the surrounding area. By helping to store excess water during peak-flow times, we have been able to create new habitat which should lead to increased biodiversity on the farm. Whilst helping to slow the flow of the water, it should in turn reduce the risk of flooding downstream to our local built-up areas.
Marie Bond, farmer at Home Farm
So far, 650 trees have been planted, 15 leaky barriers and three living bunds have been installed. Recently completed works focus on the removal of a defective weir, extension of an online pond and wetlands with new scrapes and swales enhancing floodplain connection creation of 2 new ponds, installation of an earth bund and creation a large wetland with 3 scrapes, a swale and enhance floodplain connection.
The project pioneers a Natural Flood Management approach, a method that uses and mimics natural processes to buffer the water. The work increases soil infiltration, storage capacity and slows peak flow. Simply put, rather than pushing the problem downstream, Natural Flood Management reduces and slows the amount of water entering the catchment in the first place.
Projects like this which establish or enhance lots of small-scale natural features in the catchment, such as wetlands and ponds, allow us to reduce flood risk by holding water back in the landscape. It is also much easier to control water on the land – before it reaches the river – therefore the longer we can keep the rainwater on land and help it percolate through the soil the better.
Nick Wilding, Project Manager at Trent Rivers Trust
We are delighted to be working with the National Forest Company and Trent Rivers Trust on this project, as part of the Catchment Based Approach. The project demonstrates good use of Natural Flood Management to slow the flow of water off the land, thus reducing downstream flood risk, improving water quality and enhancing biodiversity.
Amanda Patterson, Soar Catchment Coordinator for the Environment Agency
While the work focuses on flood risk, benefits are much broader. Improved water quality, a boost in biodiversity. Moreover, Home Farm is now launching an on-farm geological learning hub promoting the benefits of Natural Flood Management are further outcomes of this catchment-based, collaborative approach. More broadly, the £3.9 million Landscape Partnership Scheme enables a five-year programme of conservation, access and education projects to be carried out at sites across the Charnwood Forest Geopark area.
With thanks to our funders
Part of the Charnwood Forest Geopark Landscape Partnership scheme
For more information please contact
Vanessa Sumpmann – Communications Officer