Tag Archives: Media

In the news: MPs demand overhaul of Environment Agency to protect communities from rising flood risk

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Source: www.getreading.co.uk

Winter is on the way – and makes this report on future flood prevention from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (released today) very timely.  Today’s report, ‘Future flood prevention’, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/115/115.pdf  builds on previous works such as ‘Floods and Dredging – a reality check’  from CIWEM
http://ciwem.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Floods-and-Dredging-a-reality-check.pdf   and others, recognising that in many cases, traditional approaches to managing flood risk are not only unaffordable and unsustainable – they don’t always work and are neither, the only – nor, sometimes, the best solution.

The report highlights how a catchment wide approach is central to achieving an affordable and sustainable response to flooding in a more populated future, facing the consequences of climate change.

The Catchment based approach (CaBA) https://www.catchmentbasedapproach.org/   and Catchment Partnerships are well placed to drive this forward and deliver real solutions to communities not able to benefit from more traditional ‘hard engineered’ and expensive schemes. Existing Catchment Partnerships have developed strong links between local communities, local authorities, the Environment Agency, wildlife trusts and large institutions such as water companies and local industries, and are already delivering projects that enhance and protect our precious water resources and habitats; using a holistic approach to achieve multi-benefit solutions.

At the South East Rivers Trust, we are proud to host and co-host river catchments across the South East, and are increasingly involved in projects addressing local flood issues. In September, the Loddon Catchment Partnership  http://www.loddoncatchment.org.uk  supported a resident-led workshop, hosted by the Loddon Basin Flood Action Group and the University of Reading, on the potential for natural flood management projects to help residents who are at risk of flooding in Berkshire.

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Although there is a need for more evidence to inform best practice (but see Wilkinson ME, Quinn PF, Welton P. (2010) Runoff management during the September 2008 floods in the Belford catchment, Northumberland. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 3(4)), schemes such as those described in the report have shown the potential to achieve cumulative benefits from linked, practical projects that use techniques as diverse as increasing the area of land that can absorb water by planting woodland, to creating extra water storage areas by installing ‘leaky dams’ of natural materials that slow and divert water during high flow events.

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Reproduced from Future Flood Prevention (EFRA Committee report)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/115/115.pdf

It all makes so much sense! – BUT there are challenges. The report highlights that the key to the success – or even existence of these projects lies in taking the whole community along, and providing realistic payments to landowners whose livelihoods are affected by these schemes. In discussions at our Cuckmere and Pevensey Catchment Partnership meeting http://www.cplcp.org.uk  farmers stressed the need for these payments to be an ongoing income stream, rather than one-off payments that do not reflect changes to their business model. This necessity is also highlighted in the report along with the criticism that government response to flooding has been reactive rather than pro-active, resulting from too short time scales for meaningful, strategic planning.

Improving communications across all areas of local planning is also essential. Highlighting the potential for new developments to embrace these methods can only help mitigate against the effects of yet more impermeable roofs, roads and pavements contributing to localised surface flooding.

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Source: BBC Berkshire.

Earthwatch & South East Rivers Trust Wandle Walk

Working in partnership with Earthwatch, the South East Rivers Trust were proud to host two river walks along the Wandle as part of the H2O Development Programme.

Wandle Walking

The H2O Development Programme is a unique opportunity for participants to learn about environmental issues, spend time outdoors working with scientists and community members, and explore what sustainability means to organisations – and to them. During the programme, participants become citizen scientists and take an active role in scientific data gathering by joining the global FreshWater Watch community working together to promote freshwater sustainability.

Talking and Walking

Bella and I gave our banking guests a tour of the River Wandle from Carshalton Ponds to our river restoration works on Butterhill, sharing the journey of our Trust from its volunteer beginnings to its current expansion into the South East Rivers Trust.

Water Sampling

On both walks, we also stopped to take water samples from the Wandle, comparing the water quality at the groundwater source (Carshalton Ponds) with water further downstream.

We were even lucky enough to see a kingfisher and a heron on our walks!

Heron

All photos courtesy of Earthwatch.

Earthwatch

FreshWater Watch

‘Weir’ in print!

The fish passage work that SERT has been carrying out on the Hogsmill River has made it into the October’s issue of ‘Managing Water and it’s Environment’ online magazine. To see the article, please follow the link below. Skip immediately to the good bit starting on page 36 before  going back and reading all of the other interesting articles.

http://issuu.com/relbon/docs/issue_11?e=5844631/5534038

 

The South East Rivers Trust makes headlines in The Angler

The Angler - front cover

There’s a great article about the origins of the South East Rivers Trust in the latest issue of The Angler, the Angling Trust’s new-look magazine, which has been dropping through members’ letter boxes over the weekend.

The Angling Trust was instrumental in helping the Wandle Trust (now evolving into the South East Rivers Trust) to negotiate the 5-year Living Wandle project funding for the river’s restoration, after the notorious pollution incident in 2007, and its Fish Legal team are constantly negotiating and fighting court cases on behalf of other rivers and their local residents.

If you’re already a member of the Angling Trust, keep an eye out for the article. And if you’re not yet a member, but you enjoy fishing one or more of the rivers across south eastern England, we highly recommend joining the Trust and supporting one of the great forces for good in the conservation world!