Holnicote flood management plan up for award

Somerset County Gazette: AN EARTH bank construction at Holnicote which has helped to prevent flash flooding in Allerford and Bossington. PHOTO: National Trust. AN EARTH bank construction at Holnicote which has helped to prevent flash flooding in Allerford and Bossington. PHOTO: National Trust.

A PROJECT demonstrating flood management has been shortlisted at the 2014 Climate Week Awards.

The Holnicote Multi- Objective Flood Managements is one of four finalists in the ‘Best Campaign or educational initiative category’.

The National Trust, JBA Consulting and Penny Anderson Associates delivered the project.

It is based around the villages of Allerford and Bossington, which sit at the mouth of two rivers as they flow into the Bristol Channel.

They have both been victims of flash flooding. Set up in 2009, the scheme was to gather evidence for how land management changes.

The National Trust approach is to work to make space for water and make use of the natural environment. Some of the changes included changes upstream on Holnicote seek to divert water and limit the impact downstream.

With the backing of farmers who are tenants of the land, changes were made to allow some fields to flood, slowing down the speed and volume of water in the rivers.

Data from recent events is still being analysed but the early results are very encouraging.

Lessons learned from this project will be transferred to other catchments to help manage flood risk.

Nigel Hester, National Trust project manager said: “Since 2009, the project team have worked hard, in partnership with the local community to deliver a scheme that clearly demonstrates the advantages of working with nature throughout a complete catchment to achieve reduced flood risk and environmental gain.

“We are delighted to have reached the finals stage of the Climate Week Awards in recognition of a project that underlines the importance of managing water to make the environment more resilient to the effects of climate change.”

Funding for the £1m project has come from Defra, the Environment Agency and the National Trust and was delivered by JBA Consulting and Penny Anderson Associates.

The winner will be announced at the launch of Climate Week 2014 on March 4.

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