Sussex Flow Initiative River Ouse

Supporting Natural Flood Management

Sussex Flow Initiative (SFI) was formed in 2014, and is a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Environment Agency.

Our project expands on work by the Trees on the River Uck (TrUck) pilot project on the River Uck. We work with landowners, local communities and others to naturally slow down and store flood water, and to help reduce drought and flooding through demonstration, delivery and signposting.

Natural Flood Management (NFM) harnesses natural ecological and hydrological processes to reduce flood risk. Most of the techniques employed also adhere to best practice for natural habitat management. Natural Flood Management techniques include :-

    • Reforesting river catchments to reduce flooding and run off
    • Planting hedgerows across slopes to capture rain and overland flow
    • Using swales, permeable surfaces and rain gardens to capture and store run off
    • Restoring river channels and meanders
    • Allowing washlands and other low lying areas away from housing to flood more frequently / for shorter periods
    • Natural erosion control
    • De-gripping (reversing ditch drainage) of moorland, woodland and heathland
    • Using and managing Large Woody Debris in watercourses
    • Increasing surface water storage i.e. in ponds
    • Recycling roof and greywater run-off
    • Reducing (sub surface) land drainage

Our project officers can give you advice on natural flood management. Please Contact or, or visit the Sussex Flow Initiative and Trees on the River Uck web pages.

For more information about how we work to reduce flooding naturally, you can download our Working with Natural Processes SFI Case Study, or our Focusing on Flow leaflet. SFI has also produced and contributed to a range of guidance notes including :-

The following are useful national resources on Flooding, Natural Flood Management and Natural Woody Material in rivers :-

The following National Case Studies may also be of interest :-

Natural or man made woody debris can help to slow down flood water, and capture more silt and run off
Natural or man made woody debris can help to slow down flood water, and capture more silt and run off
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