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Working With Nature

What We Do

  • We develop, advise, implement and monitor Natural Flood Management schemes
  • We develop, advise, implement and monitor Sustainable Drainage Schemes
  • We work with landowners and communities to explore the potential for nature-based solutions

Working With Nature

The rivers we see today are not in their natural state, changes date back centuries, even millennia. Human life has sped up and so have rivers. In the Trent catchment, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, our rivers have been deepened, straightened, abstracted, dammed, and polluted, rarely with the intention to harm, but the desire to control. We have been working against nature, and forgotten about the power that lies in natural processes and nature-based solutions.

This is now changing. A growing body of research highlights the role of natural processes in flood risk reduction, drought resilience and a heating climate.

As part of our work advancing nature-based solutions, we promote nature-based solutions within blue and green infrastructure. In urban areas, we promote Sustainable Drainage Schemes and Natural Flood Management. In rural areas, we work with landowners on Natural Flood Management schemes.

Natural Flood Management

This method mimics the natural flow of water to reduce flood risk. Aiming to slow and store the water, this method reduces the peak flow of incoming water. Typically placed in catchment areas
outside and above stream outside of at-risk communities, Natural Flood Management uses in-channel and offline features to create natural barriers to water.

While the implementation is often initiated due to flood concerns, Natural Flood Management goes the extra mile. Some features can create much broader benefits such as drought resilience, a boost for wildlife and water quality improvements. Read more

Sustainable Drainage Schemes

Development and the spread of hard surfaces within our urban areas can significantly increase the risk of flooding.

Rain gardens, swales, basins or wetlands act as sponges of rainwater. Often it is not apparent there is a flood risk function to a well-designed scheme.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes (SuDS) are designed to store rainwater close to where it falls, promoting infiltration into the ground and reducing the flows downstream. SUDS, if designed carefully can bring streets to life and bring much-needed green spaces into urban areas. Rain gardens, swales, basins or wetlands.

The Trent Rivers Trust is working on a number of projects to promote the use of SuDS to reduce flood risk and deliver other benefits such as improving water quality. In some cases we are working on existing developments and ‘retro-fitting’ SuDS. SuDS are often considered to be only relevant in urban areas, but the same principles of holding and storing water close to where it falls apply equally well in rural areas.

Our SuDS model is a great tool for explaining SuDS and rain gardens.
Watch our video of the SUDs model in action

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Facts and Figures

Our Catchments