Natural flood management (more often referred to as NFM) uses natural processes, rather than traditional engineering, as an alternative solution to flooding in both urban and rural areas. It involves a range of different techniques which help to protect, restore or mimic the natural functions of our rivers and their floodplains. NFM can also be used within estuaries and along the coast.
A legacy of land drainage for farming, involving deepening and straightening long stretches of river and clearing woodland and other vegetation, now results in rapid rises and falls in river levels after heavy or prolonged rainfall. With climate change, extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent, possibly overwhelming flood defences with devastating impacts on infrastructure, homes and businesses.
One of the key aims of NFM is an holistic approach to water and land management. By restoring and working with natural processes the catchment will become more resilient to both flooding and drought in a way that benefits people and wildlife. The AOCP Partnership is actively working to identify and deliver NFM interventions across the catchment.
Find out more by going to our interactive map of the catchment