Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom has today announced a competition to encourage natural flood defence projects around the country to apply for a share of £1 million.
The government hopes the money acquired, up to £50,000, will help protect a greater number of homes and businesses in its target towards ‘innovative projects’.
The competition will look to discover projects and better encourage those that plan to use landscape features such as ponds, bank, meanders, channels and trees to store, drain or slow flood water in its initial project construction.
Mrs Leadsom said: “I am delighted to offer more support for local communities looking to employ natural flood management measures to better protect their homes and businesses.
Projects will need to demonstrate the following criteria:
“We now carefully look at flood risk across an entire catchment area from a river’s source to the sea – to make sure we have in place the best tailored mix of natural as well as concrete, engineered defences to better protect communities.”
Natural flood management in Leicester, where the competition was announced, has been used as a template and was praised by the Environment Secretary for its ‘successful’ reconnection of the floodplain with the river.
Environment Agency chairman, Emma Howard Boyd, said the funding should help smaller-scale natural flood management projects the chance to gain similar results.
She added: “At places such as Leicester, Morpeth and Medmerry, the Environment Agency has already shown that natural flood management can reduce flood risk alongside traditional flood defences and property resilience.
“There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to natural flood management: it is about using a range of measures, from creating ponds and wood dams to redirecting river channels, that work together to reduce flood risk.
“This competition is a great way to explore the different ways these approaches can benefit communities and the environment.”
For competition details, click here.