Natural Flood Management
Climate change, population growth, economics, and environmental legislation such as the Floods Directive and Water Framework Directive all necessitate a move towards a more integrated, catchment based approach to the management of land and water. Working in this way creates efficiencies in how we manage our environment by recognising that many issues in catchments affect many different sectors and that where land and water are managed together at the catchment scale this can bring about whole catchment improvements and multiple benefits to society. A key component of this integrated, catchment based approach is the recognition that working with natural processes to manage the sources and pathways of flood waters can benefit flood risk in other parts of the catchment, including our coastline. This technique, commonly referred to as natural flood management, can help deliver more expansive landscape changes than has previously been the case, while also saving money and delivering other benefits alongside flood protection, thus benefiting the environment, society and the economy.The purpose of this handbook is to provide a practical guide to the delivery of natural flood management to benefit flooding, while also bringing about many other outcomes. It is informed by a number of demonstration projects and studies commissioned by SEPA and partners in recent years that have highlighted some of the requirements for the effective delivery of natural flood management. The handbook is not static but will be updated and supplemented in the future as additional data becomes available. While the guidance provided is primarily aimed at local authorities tasked with delivery of actions set out in the Flood Risk Management Strategies, it is also intended to be of use to all those seeking to deliver natural flood management.