River Skell: NFM opportunity mapping and payment by results

Providing evidence to support a National Lottery Heritage Fund bid for the River Skell

This short project supports work to reduce sedimentation in the River Skell by building upon iCASP’s Payment for Outcomes (PfO) project and linking to outputs from several iCASP Natural Flood Management (NFM) projects (for example, Modelling NFM pilots across Yorkshire and Modelling NFM in Calderdale).

Due to the movement of paying people for public goods and changes in the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMs), there is a need to devise a system to financially reward land managers for installing and maintaining NFM measures. NFM has multiple benefits, including reducing sediment loads in rivers and alleviating flood risk.

iCASP is supporting the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF) bid for work in the River Skell through analysing existing data to form a robust baseline in terms of sediment and flooding against which the impacts of farm-scale interventions can be measured. This will also allow iCASP to highlight data gaps and recommend ways to monitor the outcomes of interventions in the future.

Opportunity maps will be produced to prioritise areas for NFM. Finally iCASP will make recommendations for principles for a payment by results scheme in the area. If successful in achieving NHLF funding, this work will have a significant impact on the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Fountains Abbey and could influence government policy on the replacement for the Rural Payments Scheme.