The Defra funded demonstration pilots at Holnicote (Somerset), Pickering (North Yorkshire) and Upper Derwent (Derbyshire) that ran between 2009-2015, showed that natural flood management approaches can have a positive effect in catchments up to 100km2, through a measurable decrease in peak flood flow and height downstream. The pilots also showed that these approaches could be most effective when carefully incorporated alongside more traditional measures in catchments. This autumn, the Environment Agency (EA) is planning to publish an overview of the current evidence for natural flood management approaches in the form of a directory and a series of 65 case studies.
To build on this emerging evidence, this year, we have allocated £15 million to 58 natural flood management specific projects across England, which will help support communities that are at risk of flooding. The EA is managing the programme, and will monitor their impact. In addition, Defra Grant-in-Aid for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Capital projects are available for any project that meets the objectives of reducing flooding or erosion risk, based on the economic benefits and damages avoided. Payment rates are based on outcomes not methods used, an approach designed to avoid discriminating against any particular approach to reducing risk.