Skip to Content

Blog Archives

Endon NFM

Endon NFM (Natural Flood Management)

TRT is working on a NFM project for the village of Endon in Staffordshire. The objective of this work is to identify a series of NFM solutions in the catchment upstream of the village. This work is funded by Staffordshire County Council and forms part of a wider strategy to help reduce the chance of properties flooding  within the village.

Land based temporary water storage area

The work involves developing some of the concepts identified as part of previous investigations and  the engagement already undertaken. TRT will undertake data analysis and further landowner engagement to identify and design a range of measures to store floodwater. The measures are likely to include features both within the watercourses as well areas to temporarily store water in appropriate locations on the land. Features within the watercourse are usually called ‘leaky barriers’. Features are designed to hold water on the land for longer, promote infiltration to ground and delay water flowing downstream. The features will only store water in high flow events, then slowly release water afterwards once the peak of the flow has subsided.

TRT will liaise directly with all the landowners and farmers that may be affected directly by any of the measures proposed. No details of the measures will be made public until the landowners have been fully consulted.

TRT has experience delivering NFM projects from across the Trent catchment. TRT has a proven track record developing, constructing and monitoring NFM features. For more information on our approach and to watch our new video please visit TRT’s Natural Flood Management page.

For any enquires about NFM in Endon, please email us at

Leaky barrier across a watercourse, using local natural materials

Leaky barrier

Leaky barrier, note the gap at the bottom to allow drainage


Clarborough Natural Flood Management Project

Clarborough Natural Flood Management Project

Community-initiated project supplements local flood risk management with nature-based solution 

Job done  

  • 50 strategically placed Natural Flood Management features installed to reduce flood risk in Bassetlaw community  
  • 3 bunds 
  • 38 leaky barriers 
  • Construction of a 2-stage channel in an existing ditch to increase water storage capacity 
  • 5 storage ponds 
  • Two online storage areas 
  • 0.4ha of native woodland species to create a tree buffer zone 


Project background

Clarborough and Welham, two villages located in North Nottinghamshire, have a long history of flooding issues. In November 2019, floods inundated the community, re-fuelling a call for improvements to local flood management. Earlier floods in summer 2007 and January 2008 demonstrated the village’s vulnerability to the incoming water. Over the years, ongoing local concern sparked a consultation which resulted in the launch of an ambitious Natural Flood Management project. The Trent Rivers Trust initially scoped the work and launched Capital Works in 2020. The Natural Flood Management project has been funded by Nottinghamshire County Council.  Led by the Trent River Trust, the project has been made possible thanks to the support of local landowners who volunteered their land within the 4.7km2 catchment area. The collaboration has resulted in 50 strategically placed Natural Flood Management features.  

Our approach – Slowing the flow with Natural Flood Management  

Mapping landscape features and flow paths in the affected area, the Trent Rivers Trust introduced features that aim to reduce the peaking point of floodwater. Natural Flood Management, a still relatively new DEFRA-endorsed approach, quite literally tries to tackle the problem of too much water entering brooks and rivers at the same time.   

‘The aim of such NFM schemes is to install many small interventions strategically across the catchment that will collectively store a large amount of water during heavy rainfall, thereby holding the water on the land and reducing river flows. This water is subsequently released more slowly, delaying the flood peak and protecting downstream communities vulnerable to flooding.’  

Jon Lewis –Senior Catchment Manager at the Trent Rivers Trust  

Natural Flood Management features installed at Clarborough include 3 bunds, 38 leaky barriers, construction of a 2-stage channel in an existing ditch to increase water storage capacity, 5 storage ponds, two online storage areas, and planting of 0.4ha of native woodland species to create a tree buffer zone. These features are focussed on the area to the southeast of Clarborough between Church Lane/The Baulk, Whinleys Road to the north, and Leverton Road to the south.   

About the features installed

Once the water from tributaries enters the river, it compounds into a force that is difficult to control, leaving communities such as Clarborough at risk. Natural Flood Management (NFM) aims to control the issue at source, slowing the flow before it enters the main river. Rather than flushing the water through the channels causing a firehose effect further downstream, NFM aims to ‘time’ the flow and allow the land to absorb the water. To achieve a slower flow, NFM first scopes opportunities by modelling the flow of the water. It then recommends a range of features that either slow or block the water from entering the main river.  

Clarborough used a wide range of tools from the NFM toolbox 

Leaky barriers are used to slow the flow of the water in small streams. The logs are installed just above the water and remain untouched during low flow. During high flow events, the barriers slow the water. 

2-way channels consist of a deep central channel, framed by two plateaus. During low flow the central channel transports the water downstream. At high flow the wider channel provides additional capacity, avoiding water flushing down a narrow channel, potentially bursting banks.  

Bunds aim to capture, slow and store water strategically in the landscape. Typically positioned at the bottom of a slope it stores surface run-off including sediments behind a section of elevated land 

Online storage areas provide additional water storage into existing watercourses, or adjacent to them. They are connected either through drainage pipes or open connections 

Storage ponds create a new storage area based on water flow paths. The additional storage increases capacity providing more space for the water to flow.  

Trees can absorb water and reduce the amount of water entering the watercourse. Foliage can also slow the water’s journey to the forest floor.  

The impact – A win-win for communities and nature   

There are other obvious advantages to a NFM scheme, particularly that it works alongside nature and creates new and better environments; it is considerably cheaper than many engineered schemes. However, its impact is generally seen as reducing risks by reducing the rate of flow of water. 

Andrew Avery – Local resident  

Whilst the primary aim of NFM features is to slow the flow of water and increase the capacity of water storage on the catchment, many of these features will also create additional habitat for wildlife, and boost carbon sequestration. As capital works have drawn to a close, Trent Rivers Trust will continue to monitor the performance of these NFM features under varying flow conditions in 2022.   

Is flood risk an issue affecting your community? Get in touch to explore how we can help. 


< Return To Projects


Lowdham Natural Flood Management Project

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.

Lowdham NFM Lowdham NFM

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.

< Return To Projects


Southwell FRAMES Project

Southwell FRAMES Project

The Southwell Frames project was a European project funded by INTERREG FRAMES. The project was a large-scale collaboration between 15 pilot projects, across 5 countries, with a main aim to integrate the Multi-Layered Safety Approach into future flood risk policy. As part of this, NFM features were installed in Southwell by The Trent Rivers Trust in close collaboration with Nottinghamshire County Council, The Southwell Flood Forum and the National Flood Forum.

In total, 43 NFM measures across 12 landholdings were installed. This now provides around 4000m3 of additional water storage within the upper catchment.

The word “pilot” should not be used lightly when discussing this project. As a “pilot”, the project also had a very important key objective: disseminate findings with as many individuals, organisations and policy makers as possible. Through talks held at various conferences, such as those held by Westminster Insight and the River Restoration Centre, 178 organisations were directly informed of the project, its outcomes and lessons learnt. As part of this objective, a national conference was held at Newark to showcase the project, guide future NFM projects and discuss future flood risk management strategies within the UK.  Live video recordings of this conference can be found on the Trent Rivers Trust YouTube channel: (here)

< Return To Projects


Natural Flood Management Scoping Studies

Natural Flood Management Scoping Studies

To date, The Trent Rivers Trust have conducted a number of NFM scoping studies across catchments of varying sizes, to assess opportunities for potential NFM interventions. These studies have a clear method which enables us to efficiently assess the potential for NFM within the upper catchment. Steps taken such as early landowner liaison, desk-based studies, site walkovers and advanced GIS analysis of potential options are all part of the scoping study, which allows interventions to be prioritised within a clear and concise report.

At The Trent Rivers Trust, we have significant experience in working closely with private landowners and wider stakeholders in order to successfully deliver beneficial scoping studies which are useful to our stakeholders and local communities. This has enabled organisations to successfully apply for funding and ultimately move to the delivery phase of an NFM project quickly.

For more information please contact:

< Return To Projects