Sussex Flow Initiative

Sussex Wildlife Trust has been working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Woodland Trust undertaking Natural Flood Management within the Ouse Catchment since 2012. This initially started as the innovative pilot project Trees on the River Uck (TrUck), which was expanded to the whole 605 square kilometres of the Ouse Catchment in 2014, as well as being renamed the Sussex Flow Initiative. Two years later the partnership was joined by Lewes District Council. In 2018 the project expanded to delivered Natural Flood Management within the Powdermill Catchment in East Sussex.

Sussex Flow Initiative is working with landowners, local communities and others to naturally slow down and store flood water in the landscape through advocacy and delivery. Our 2019-20 End of Year report and Summary, which are summarised in the infographic below. Social and Natural Capital Report on the multiple benefits delivered by the Sussex Flow Initiative project since it started in 2012. 

We also support Sussex Flow Projects on the Cuckmere and Combe haven. In 2019-20, this project also achieved some great stuff for Natural Flood Management. SFI Powdermill Annual Report 2019 20

sfi infographic 2020

Natural Flood Management (NFM) uses natural processes and landscapes to help reduce flood risk and to increase resilience to drought. The techniques we use deliver multiple benefits for people and wildlife. Natural Flood Management techniques include :-

  • Re-wooding landscapes to reduce flooding and run off
  • Planting hedgerows across slopes to capture rain
  • Using permeable surfaces and rain gardens to store run off
  • Restoring river channels and meanders
  • Restoring natural washlands
  • Natural erosion control
  • Reversing drainage of moorland, woodland and heathland
  • Using and managing Natural Woody Material in watercourses
  • Increasing surface water storage i.e. in ponds
  • Recycling roof and greywater run-off
  • Reducing (sub surface) land drainage

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.

Our project officers can also give you advice on natural flood management. :-

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, or our Focusing on Flow leaflet.

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 :-

Natural or man made woody material can help to slow down flood water, and capture more silt and run off
Natural wood in rivers can help to slow down flood water, and capture more silt and run off

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