Defra awards £100K for flood management

A dozen Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) in England have been awarded Defra funding to carry out projects which manage flood risk and protect local wildlife.

Unveiling the successful recipients last week (December 28) environment minister Richard Benyon said farmers and rural communities would benefit from the £100,000 pot, which was set up in August 2011 by Defra.

He said: “Farmers, working with councils, play an important part in protecting and improving our communities.

“I have allocated almost £100,000 to help them continue that work by using innovative technical solutions to protect farmland from flooding, create new habitats for the country’s wildlife and preserve archaeological sites for the benefit of future generations.”

As part of the criteria, entrants were required to demonstrate how their projects would improve their operational efficiencies, environmental performance and wider sustainable development, with an emphasis on improving drainage and flood risk.

The 12 chosen projects included four in Somerset, two in Nottinghamshire, two in Norfolk, two in Yorkshire & Humber, one in Bedfordshire, one in North Lincolnshire.

Defra confirmed it received 34 grant applications amounting to more than £300,000 in funding requests. The winners were selected from a panel comprising of representatives from Defra, the Environment Agency (EA) and Natural England.

Funding will be made available to the IDBs shortly and each is required to provide Defra with a final report outlining progress.

The 12 projects to receive funding are:

·The Tween Bridge IDB which will receive £10,000 to help create new habitats on Inkle Moor near Doncaster for the marsh pea.
·The Ouse and Humber Water Management Partnership will receive £10,000 to improve land use in the Broomfleet Washland, near Goole in Yorkshire, increasing flood storage capacity and protecting habitats for local wildlife.
·The Lower Brue, Upper Brue and Parrett IDBs near Glastonbury in Somerset will receive £10,000 to help protect important wetland archaeological sites, and an additional £3,500 to improve the quality of habitats for water voles.
·The Broads IDB near Ludham in Norfolk will receive £10,010 to develop new habitats for protected species such as grasswrack.
·Kings Lynn IDB will receive £12,800 to widen Smeeth Lode Drain and create new reedbed habitat.
·The Isle of Axeholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board near Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire will receive nearly £5,500 to help improve efficiency and protect the habitats of vulnerable species in the area
·The Parrett Drainage Board near Bridgwater in Somerset will receive £6,000 to install monitoring equipment to make sure water isn’t wasted and help create better conditions for aquatic wildlife. An additional £4,500 will be provided to install equipment to reduce flood risk in the region and make the irrigation of wetlands more efficient.
·The Laneham IDB will receive £10,000 to improve efficiency and help wildlife flourish in the Beckingham Marshes near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire.
·The Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board near Louth in Lincolnshire will receive £10,000 to undertake a study to help it make its water pumping stations more efficient.
·The Bedford Group of Drainage Boards near Milton Keynes will receive £7,500 to investigate the use of green infrastructure and how sustainable drainage systems can be maintained in a way that protects vulnerable species

Carys Matthews

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