Sussex Flow Initiative River Ouse

Supporting Natural Flood Management

Sussex Flow Initiative (SFI) is a Natural Flood Managament project formed in 2014 as 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) project.

We work with landowners, local communities and others to naturally slow down and store flood water in the landscape, and to help reduce drought and flooding through advocacy and delivery.

In 2017, we celebrated 5 years of working in Natural Flood Management. Since the start of our project, we have achieved a huge amount. You can download our 5 Year Summary Report here, or scroll through our online showcase for more information.

Natural Flood Management (NFM) harnesses natural processes to help reduce flood risk. 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 one page Summaries on the different NFM techniques such as leaky dams.

Our project officers can give you advice on natural flood management. Please Contact Matt Turley at or on 07590 020323; or Fran Southgate at or 01273 497555. Alternatively you can visit the Sussex Flow Initiative web page.

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, or watch the video below of about Natural Flood Management.

SFI has 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 :-

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.

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
Sussex Flow Project logos