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Our 3 point plan to reduce flooding

February 25, 2020 11:33 AM
By Oliver Walker
  • Flooding in BewdleyPlanting trees on the Welsh mountains and around streams and rivers that feed into the Severn will slow the flow of water running into the river. This works because where the tree roots have broken up the ground, the rainwater can penetrate deep into the soil, 60 times faster, than where there are none.
  • By re-instating forest meadows we can have greater control over water management. A working water-meadow has no standing water (puddles), but by keeping the ground damp it allows the grass can grow several weeks earlier, than normal, and in times of long dry spells the water damp ground allows the grass to keep growing throughout the summer. It also absorbs the runoff fertilisers from farming. The grass can be used both for making hay and for grazing by livestock (usually cattle or sheep).
  • By not building more houses on flood plains we can avoid more people getting flooded while also giving the rivers room to rise in the event of heavy rainfall.

If all else fails we need to invest in more permanent flood defences for areas that are going to be increasingly affected by flooding or lack the proper defences already.

An additional idea for reducing flooding is to allow beavers to return to our rivers. The dams they build can slow the flow of water. The reintroduction of beavers to Belgium had a significant impact on lowering the peak flow further downstream.


Extra notes
* Flooding costs the UK economy £1.1 billion annually on average
(https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/assets/uploads/files/publications/Rewilding%20and%20Flood%20Risk%20Management%20briefing.pdf)