Defra invests £1.5 in new flood risk strategies

Growing trees and crops on salt flood plains will be among the alternative strategies investigated in a £1.5m Defra-funded study, aimed at delivering innovation in flood management and coastal erosion.

Six pilot projects will investigate the potential for trees to cut flood risk, recruiting the help of farmers and landowners to prevent coastal erosion, designing sustainable housing in floodplain areas and engaging local communities in the process of flood risk prevention.

The pilots are part of the cross-Government Making Space for Water strategy that aims to manage flood risk and coastal erosion in a sustainable manner.

Announcing the pilot projects, environment minister Ian Pearson said: “We can’t hide from the consequences of climate change. When we consider the possibility of higher sea levels and storms of greater intensity we have to start thinking differently about how to deal with flooding and coastal erosion – this means adapting to the consequences now and developing greater resilience.”

“Government has spent some £4 billion since 1996/1997 managing the risk of flooding and coastal erosion faced by communities across England.

“But climate change will ratchet up the threats faced by communities which is why we need to investigate new and different responses to dealing with flooding and coastal erosion.

“The pilot projects I have announced today are testing out new and innovative approaches to deal with flooding and coastal erosion. These pilots will see whether we can push the boundaries of policy and test the potential of whether these innovative ideas can form part of our mainstream policy and delivery.

“Our aim is to get maximum value from taxpayers money spent on reducing flood risk whilst delivering other benefits for communities and the environment if at all possible.”

More information on the studies can be found here.

Goska Romanowicz

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