The Upper Rother Catchment: Creating an evidence directory of natural flood management

Providing natural flood management (NFM) interventions with a quantified impact on flood risk

This project will allow a more strategic approach to be taken when implementing NFM by providing information that will help target areas that have the greatest impact on reducing flood risk. It will focus on different intervention types in the Upper Rother by modelling three sub-catchments. Interventions such as soil management and tree planting will be prioritised by working with landowners and stakeholders within the sub-catchments.

SD-topmodel will be used by iCASP during this project which is a hydrological model capable of modelling flow through a catchment and can be modified to represent different interventions and will be used during this project. The model can, for example, be used to explore the following questions, how many interventions are needed to produce a 5% reduction in flood risk? Where are interventions for the biggest impacts? SD-TOPMODEL has been used to address these problems in another iCASP project that investigated the impact of land use management on flooding in the Upper Calder Valley.

Modelling data provided by this project will provide a directory of evidence to be used by NFM practitioners to help them decide which interventions are best placed for these particular catchments within the Upper Rother by quantifying the impact of flood related benefits. This will allow for interventions to be prioritised. There is an increasing need to quantify the outcomes of NFM, especially when trying to releasing funding for catchments, modelling offers one way to help showcase the impacts of NFM and to make sure they are in the most effective locations.

This project is a follow on project to the Don Hidden Heritage Secret Streams iCASP project, which brought together open access data to map the best sites for interventions by creating hotspot (risk) and opportunity maps. In that project, interventions were chosen which would help slow the flow, decrease diffuse pollution and increase landscape connectivity.

Partners

Don Catchment Rivers Trust (DCRT)
University of Leeds
University of York
Environment Agency
Derbyshire County Council
North East Derbyshire District Council
Chesterfield Borough Council

Project Team

Dr Megan Klaar – University of Leeds
Prof Colin Brown – University of York
Dr Janet Richardson & Dr Thomas Willis – iCASP Impact Translation Fellows
Dr Debbie Coldwell & Dr Ed Shaw – Don Catchment Rivers Trust

Duration

April 2021 – October 2022

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