How rewilding reduces flood risk

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These ecological engineers work fast and could be our best friends when it comes to flood management

Rewilding has a crucial role to play in our efforts to reduce flood risk and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Rewilding projects are longlasting, involve communities in decision-making and improve areas for wildlife as well as people.

This report – published in September 2016 – looks closely at a wide range of examples and also considers findings from academic sources and NGOs. The overall conclusion is that rewilding can and does make a difference. 

A diverse range of people and organisations are leading the way – showing what is possible. But we want to see faster delivery of more schemes like these. To encourage more rewilding that helps with flood management we need: 

  • A policy framework that supports rewilding as a part of the package of measures needed to manage flood risk.
  • More ring-fenced funding and signposting to novel funding opportunities.
  • A very pro-active approach by Government agencies to incentivise good land and water management.
  • An agency to take the lead on spreading good practice and guidance to landowners and communities affected by flooding so that they understand how working with nature can help.
  • Local people to be at the heart of decision making on flood management
  • A programme of beaver reintroduction 
  • Open access data to enable the best possible decision-making on priorities and funds.

Read more on flooding

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Beavers and flood risk management

Beaver man, Derek Gow, and Mark Elliott of the Devon Wildlife Trust, tell us about the role beavers could play in managing flood risk in Britain