Sussex Flow Initiative

The Sussex Flow Initiative was a pioneering project that delivered Natural Flood Management across the Ouse catchment, working with and restoring natural processes to reduce flood risk.

​The project was formed in 2012, as a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency. With further supported from Lewes District Council. In 2023 the project became the Wilder Ouse project which builds upon the incredible work of the Sussex Flow Initiative.

Working with landowners, local people and others it investigated, promoted and created natural features that slowed and stored water in the landscape, to help reduce flood peaks. Sussex Flow Initiative aim was to deliver multiple benefits for people and wildlife, as well as to show how NFM can be used to support traditional flood management methods to help reduce flooding.

​Natural Flood Management work carried out by the project included:

  • Introducing Large Woody Debris - leaky dams
  • Ditch blocking
  • Flood storage areas
  • Recreating and restoring washland meadows
  • Managing and creating riparian corridors
  • Cross-slope hedge planting
  • Riparian tree planting (along riverbanks)
  • Woodland planting and management
  • Soil management to improve capacity to absorb water (infiltration)
Building a leaky dam
Sam Buckland

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