Our aim is to use research to make a difference to the environment, economy and society and to promote Yorkshire as a global leader in implementing resilient catchment management. Working in partnership is crucial to us and achieving integration across organisations and landscapes or catchments. We bring together people to discuss issues, share ideas, understand different perspectives and develop a better understanding of issues who would not normally do so.
Through iCASP projects, we enable communication between academics working on environmental science and practitioners dealing with catchment management problems.
This video was filmed in Hardcastle Crags to explain how one of our projects – NFM in Calderdale – involved partnership working and benefits for Calderdale Council, The Environment Agency (Yorkshire region) the National Trust and Slow the Flow. It looks at natural flood prevention measures and solutions to slow the volume of water which comes down the hillsides.
Our work includes:
- Developing a strong and sustainable regional community to pioneer a more integrated approach to catchment management.
- Sharing expertise and knowledge nationally and internationally.
- Supporting organisations by addressing gaps in research needed to secure funding, providing a scope for work that is going out to tender, managing consultations or workshops or sourcing information to strengthen bids.
- Influencing the political agenda and being advocates for increased investment in the region.
Some of the things we have been involved in are:
- Providing support and co-ordination amongst partners for regional funding bids.
- Having an input into the green and blue infrastructure strategy planned for Leeds; the Environment Agency’s 25 year plan and policies on nature recovery biodiversity, carbon sequestration, water quality improvements to the landscape, Natural Flood Management and flood resilience.
- Responding to consultations about legislated water targets as part of Environment Bill, giving advice to DEFRA on their ambitious targets with an opportunity to influence them.
- Shaping the Government’s Environmental Land Management Scheme.
- Pushing forward to achieve net zero and environmental resilience to build societal resilience.
- Supporting the integration of policies and funding schemes with multiple benefits and cross cutting themes (for example, water quality, flood and drought risk, climate resilience, flood forecasting, net zero and carbon sequestration, sustainable agriculture and air quality).
Initially iCASP was a £5m programme funded for five years by the Natural Environment Research Council. This has been now been extended and we have secured further funding to continue some of our work until 2026. We are committed to maintaining our momentum, capitalising on new opportunities in the region and sustaining iCASP beyond then.
We look for solutions that provide an excellent investment and multiple benefits widespread across the catchment. This map highlights the kind of work we get involved in and the impact we have in so many places.