Farmers and landowners in the River Aire catchment in Yorkshire are being asked to consider introducing natural flood management (NFM) techniques to help reduce the flood risk to homes and businesses in the region.
The Environment Agency, Leeds City Council and the White Rose Forest partnership are appealing to landowners to allow access to their land for tree planting and the creation of other NFM measures such as leaky barriers and buffer strips.
White Rose Forest has partners who are available to work with landowners or farmers to identify potential opportunities for NFM work on their land.
They will complete any applications or paperwork required and secure full funding for each project.
They will also deliver the project on the ground – all they need to proceed is permission from the landowner to use the land.
Examples of NFM measures include: tree and hedgerow planting; buffer strips (which trap sediment and slow water flow); leaky barriers (which enhance floodplain storage); woodland creation; and sediment traps.
The Environment Agency said the scheme, which has been running since 2015, had seen some good successes.
For example, Broughton Hall Estate near Skipton has restructured several areas of woodland, installed leaky barriers and created up to 110,000 cubic meters of storage space for surface water.
However, the EA is keen for more landowners to take part, suggesting projects can also bring wider benefits such as increased biodiversity, tree canopy cover and the potential to capture and store carbon.
Ian Coldwell, project manager for the White Rose Forest, stressed that the idea was to make each project as simple and straightforward as possible for landowners.
“Although the scheme runs throughout the year, we would encourage landowners to register their interest early via the White Rose Forest website to ensure timely delivery, particularly for popular projects such as tree planting,” he said.