Natural Flood Management on Countryfile

Countryfile on Sunday did a couple of films on how to manage the problems associated with the recent floods. The two pieces featured examples from the south west.

You can watch Sunday’s Countryfile by pressing here and viewing on the BBC’s  iPlayer. The first piece is about natural flood management schemes also known as ‘upstream measures’. This section is 7 minutes 32 seconds into the programme.

Nigel Hester - Countryfile
It features the work carried out by the National Trust on its Holnicote Estate in Somerset. This is a picture of Nigel Hester, the NT’s project manager with Tom Heap from Countryfile. It is a widely acclaimed scheme and I am visiting Holnicote next week to meet Nigel and be shown around – I will report back.

The National Trust have also recently published the report on the Holnicote project “From Source to Sea – Natural Flood Management” and you can download it here. The project was funded by DEFRA, the Environment Agency and the NT and involved the University of Exeter, JBA Consulting and Penny Anderson Associates Ltd. It is well worth a read as I am sure it will be a major  building block for much that we will see happen in the future to ‘slow the flow’.

The second part of the Countryfile piece on flooding tackled dredging and focused on the Somerset Levels. That part starts 26 minutes 58 seconds in. Again a very balanced piece and is well worth watching.

Part of the challenge with dealing with floods is to separate fact from fiction, hyperbole and prejudice. There are lots of competing interests when it comes to this topic and I thought Countryfile did a good job in setting this out.



3 thoughts on “Natural Flood Management on Countryfile

  1. I was not happy with Cohntryfile’s coverage because they rather presented NFM as a ‘good’ flood management technique and dredging as ‘bad’. Lots of v good work happening with HillstoLevels in Somerset but dredging a 8km section of the Parrett and Tone is the difference between major flooding or not. In a situation where re-engineering of two high carrier rivers is not feasible, it is a necessary evil. I wish there was more capacity in the moors but there is simply isn’t. This piece was rather dated in its tone. No mention of catchment wide management. But it was great to see the lovely Nigel Hester by a leaky dam!

  2. I watched the Countryfile video mainly for the section on the Moors and Levels. OK as far as it went but it didn’t go far enough – no mention of the necessity to pump a high-level carrier system, whatever the speed at which the surplus water arrives, or contrast with the Axe and Brue/Huntspill catchments north of the Poldens that had no persistent flood in 2913/14, but have effective pumping and tidal barriers that prevent the slack water that assists siltation.

    This article is helpful in the current debate and adds reminders about up-scaling and relevance when considering “natural” flood management measures:

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