The Environment Agency have just published a document on what has happened in Cumbria since devastating flooding caused by Storm Desmond in December 2015. It is called Reducing flood risk from source to sea: first steps towards an integrated catchment plan for Cumbria. You can download and read it here.
Actions to prevent flooding in Cumbria have divided into 5 main themes
- Strengthening defences
- Upstream thinking
- Water level management boards
I’m very pleased to see ‘Upstream Thinking’ as one of the themes. Although at this stage (understandably) the detail is rather thin the document does talk about “land-management techniques such as soil aeration, bunds, leaky dams, woodland creation and river restoration to absorb water and slow the flow in locations across Cumbria” and “restoring at least 350 hectares of high priority peatland to absorb water upstream of communities, and we are creating natural flood storage areas upstream”.
I will be interested to see what reaction there is to this document from Cumbrian communities, farmers and organisations such as the National Trust (who own a great deal of the land involved).