An innovative partnership project led by Highways England, Atkins Limited, independent agricultural advisor Chloe Palmer, the Don Catchment Rivers Trust, as well as farmers and landowners aims to tackle repeated flooding along the A616. By implementing ‘natural flood management’ (NFM) measures to intercept, store and slow the flow of water from land north of the road, it is hoped the incidence of flooding along the route, between Langsett and Deepcar, will be reduced.
NFM measures mimic natural functioning processes, such as slowing the flow in streams and on land or aeration increasing the infiltration of water through the soil profile, or through planting of trees to capture water and take up moisture.
Tom De la Rosa, Highways England Senior Environment Advisor, said: “Farmers are invited to develop their own schemes for their land which will either slow or store water flow but can also provide other benefits such as enhancing wildlife habitat and the landscape or improving soil health and therefore productivity.
“The advantage of this scheme is farmers are able to design their own interventions and cost them before submitting a bid to the funding portal which will launch in May. We recognise farmers know their land better than anyone and are therefore best placed to put a proposal together.”
The Don Catchment Rivers Trust will be managing the project once individual proposals from farmers have been approved. Ed Shaw, Director of the Trust, believes it could offer a blueprint for future initiatives. Ed said: “Looking to natural processes rather than simply building larger engineered solutions can deliver so many more benefits to both the farmed and water environment.”
Farmers who are interested in developing NFM schemes and want to apply for funding can contact the Catchment Officer for the project. Please visit the NFM Fund portal to find out more: https://catchmentbasedapproach.org/learn/he-nfm-fund/