Lowdham Natural Flood Management Project
Lowdham Natural Flood Management project is a joint venture between Trent Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency and Nottinghamshire County Council and is part of Defra’s Natural Flood Management Pilot Programme. The lessons learnt from the project will inform the future evidence base around NFM. In particular, how well NFM schemes integrate with more traditional flood risk schemes within a catchment and how can the most benefits be obtained for both flood risk reduction and the environment.
Trent Rivers Trust have delivered an extensive range of NFM measures which aim to help slow the flow of water within two watercourses and surface pathways to reduce the risk of flooding to the villages of Lambley and Lowdham in Nottinghamshire.
The Cocker Beck flows through a steep sided valley before entering the villages of Lambley and Lowdham which results in a fast catchment response to storm events. The Natural Flood Management interventions work in the upper catchment by slowing flows and providing additional environmental benefits. These measures will also complement a larger scale capital project which is being planned for the downstream extent of the catchment.
54 interventions have been delivered across the catchment which provide multiple benefits for the local community and farmers. These include areas of de-culverting, leaky barrier and bund installation, creation of additional storage areas, re-profiling and tree planting.
Trent Rivers Trust are continuing to deliver more interventions and are working closely with the Parish Councils, Lowdham Flood Action Group, The Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water to develop further opportunities.
Monitoring on the interventions will be undertaken up until March 2021 with the help of Nottingham Trent University, who are assessing the impact of NFM on water levels and sediment levels within the Cocker Beck.
The implementation of monitoring has been a valuable part of the project, with data collected over a number of years. The Trent Rivers Trust installed monitoring equipment and assessed the collected data to discuss the efficiency of individual NFM features with stakeholders. The method used allowed for the volumetric storage of water within a feature to be calculated during high flow events. Additionally, turbidity probes have been installed as part of the ongoing monitoring to assess the impacts that NFM can have on sediment concentrations within the river.