Natural flood management (NFM) is the alteration, restoration or use of landscape features to reduce flood risk. Altering features often includes “soft-engineering”, which has been defined as engineering with natural materials, such as soil. It includes measures such as naturally encouraging flooding further upstream in appropriate fields and reducing or slowing down the run off from heavy rainfall. This involves the cooperation of many partners, in particular landowners.
Natural Flood Management (NFM) demonstration project: This is a five year partnership project between the Environment Agency (EA )and Wild Oxfordshire, in association with Thames Water and West Oxfordshire District Council. Funding, awarded by the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) and the EA, have enabled Wild Oxfordshire to employ a NFM officer to deliver this project. West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) have given our project officer, Richard Bennett, a desk in their Witney offices and we are working closely with landowners, parish councils and local communities to integrate NFM and Water Quality (WQ) measures across the Evenlode catchment. A case study of the project by the EA’s Jo Old and David McKnight can be downloaded here.
Littlestock Brook: The first part of the NFM project included installation of large woody debris in Littlestock Brook near Milton-under-Wychwood, to slow flows. This was carried out in partnership with the Parish Council and Bruern estate.
River Glyme: River Glyme restoration between Stratford Bridge and Woodstock Water Meadows: a collaborative project bringing together multiple funding sources and partners, including Thames Water, Environment Agency, the Wychwood Project, local landowners including Blenheim Estate, The Cotswolds Fly Fishers and Cotswolds Rivers Trust. A film about this work can be viewed on the Agricology website.
Woodstock Water Meadows: Restoration and management of Woodstock Water Meadows, largely funded by Thames Water and lead by the Wychwod Project, was closely linked to the Glyme restoration project. Work on the water meadows is on-going, with the Wychwood Project now awarded the contract to manage the meadows on behalf of Woodstock town council.
River Evenlode at Pudlicote phase 1: A section of river that has been damaged by dredging for agricultural purposes being restored; deposited material on the river bed removed, stones and gravel added, and banks stabilised. Approximately 5 Ha wet grassland was created from marginal, unproductive arable land. This phase was completed in winter 2016/17. More information and a film about the work can be viewed on the Agricology website. This work was funded by landowner contributions, TOE2, the Wild Trout Trust.
Pudlicote phase 2: Funded by landowner contributions, rod licence money from the Environment Agency and the Cotswolds River’s Trust will start later this year. More information to follow.
- Evenlode Catchment Laboratory – a space for environmental education, study and research
- Environmental Monitoring
- River Education
- Citizen science
- Demonstration and promotion of integrated land management