Lancashire gets slice of £25m Government cash to use nature to combat flooding

Natural methods will be used alongside bricks and mortar.
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Lancashire is to benefit from a new £25m project where nature is used to reduce flooding.

The Environment Department (Defra) said 40 projects across England are receiving grants ranging from £40,000 to £2.1 million for natural flood management, including schemes run by nature charities, community groups and local authorities.

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What about Lancashire? The Ribble Rivers Trust is receiving funding for projects focused on slowing river flows across the Ribble catchment in Lancashire. They include ponds, sunken channels known as swales and leaky barriers across streams to slow and store floodwater in the upper reaches of the River Darwen catchment in Lancashire, while greenery and new woodland will catch water as it runs downhill to reduce runoff and store more water in the soil.

The River DarwenThe River Darwen
The River Darwen

"Exciting to see"

Environment Agency chairman Alan Lovell said: “It’s exciting to see such appetite for natural flood management, recognising its value in providing not only benefits against flood risk but also wider support for nature recovery.

“I’m proud of the role the Environment Agency is playing in leading this pioneering programme. We look forward to working with partners to help natural techniques become a mainstream option for flood protection and help create more climate-resilient places.”

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Floods minister Robbie Moore said: “It’s vital we use nature as an ally in our work to become ready for climate change, helping to restore the natural environment and protecting homes and businesses.

“That’s why we’re funding the biggest-ever investment in natural flood management – and it’s great to see the huge demand.” He said the schemes would complement the “traditional bricks-and-mortar” flood defences, as part of the Government’s £5.2 billion flood programme.

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Rivers Trust, said: “We warmly welcome this significant fund which will not only protect people and businesses from flooding, but will also make more space for nature, purify pollutants, recharge groundwater aquifers, lock up organic carbon and create amenity value for communities.”

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