Sussex Flow Initiative
Sussex Wildlife Trust has been working in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Woodland Trust creating a climate resilient landscape within the Ouse Catchment. Since its inception in 2012, the partnership project of the Sussex Flow Initiative has been promoting a holistic approach to water and land management through advocacy and the delivery and demonstration of a wider range of Natural Flood Management (NFM) techniques, with support from Lewes District Council since 2016.
Over 10 years SFI has helped to develop NFM as a science, bringing it to the fore as a means of naturally mitigating floods and flood risk in a lowland catchment setting. Working with and restoring natural processes to slow and store water within the landscape, NFM delivers multiple benefits and builds natural capital, demonstrated by the report on the Social and Natural Capital Report of the project.
Working with landowners, farmers and local communities the NFM measures undertaken:
- Increase water storage: creating temporary storage which will fill up during a flood event and empty slowly (e.g. reconnecting functioning floodplains and creating storage ponds).
- Increase catchment and channel roughness: this ‘slows the flow’ by increasing the resistance to surface and in-channel water flow (e.g. planting trees and hedgerows, restoring meandering rivers and installing leaky dams).
The Government has produced a range of Guidance on Working with Natural Processes to reduce Flood Risk, including a Series of useful one page Summaries on different NFM techniques such as leaky dams.
For more information about how we work to reduce flooding naturally, you can download our Working with Natural Processes SFI Case Studies.
SFI has produced and contributed to a range of guidance notes on Natural Flood Management including :-