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.

SFI Infographic 2021-22

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.

You can also visit the Sussex Flow Initiative web page for Case StudiesVolunteer opportunities and other Resources on NFM, or the Sussex Flow Initiative Facebook Page or Twitter.

For more information about how we work to reduce flooding naturally, you can download our Working with Natural Processes SFI Case Studies.

If you are concerned about flooding in your local area, then look for your local Flood Action Group or learn how to Prepare Yourself for Flooding.

SFI has produced and contributed to a range of guidance notes on Natural Flood Management including :-

In this section


Films demonstrating Natural Flood Management and the work undertaken by the Sussex Flow Initiative.

Further Information

Links to local and national guidance documents and other Natural Flood Management work.

Get in Touch

Get in Touch with the Sussex Flow Initiative