The Guardian reports for many of us across the UK it has felt like another wet winter; yet again homes have flooded and politicians are under pressure to improve flood protection. Engineering our rivers and building defences might bring reassurance, but recent research shows that doing nothing is often more effective at reducing flooding.
The Guardian reports this has been another wet winter of big downpours and flooding, but that should come as no surprise. Winters in the UK are turning increasingly wet and climate change predictions point to even wetter winters and record-breaking rainfalls in the future. Flooding from these rains is not inevitable, though. More than 5m homes in England are at risk of flooding, and yet one in 10 new homes are being built in high-risk flood areas. These are largely flood plains, typically flat, low-lying land around rivers that would naturally waterlog like a sponge, creating a mosaic of wetlands that help soak up the water that would flood elsewhere.
The Guardian reports Environment agency officials were under pressure on Monday to explain exactly what consent they gave to carry out extensive work on the banks of a protected river in England.
Officials from the EA, Natural England and the Forestry Commission moved in last week to stop the work along the River Lugg outside Kingsland, near Leominster in Herefordshire.
The EA said a legal notice requiring the works to stop immediately was served on the landowner by Natural England earlier last week…But the landowner John Price, a potato and cattle farmer, has insisted that he was asked to do the work by the EA to try to tackle flooding in the area.
BBC News, BBC Breakfast interview from 0733 and The Telegraph report a new approach to combating floods in England, backing natural solutions with government cash, has been unveiled. It includes funding for schemes such as creating sustainable drainage systems – and building hollows in the ground to catch flood water in heavy rain, before storing it to tackle summer droughts.
Critics say the schemes do not go far enough at a time of climate change. George Eustice, Environment minister live on BBC Breakfast says they want to develop more “nature based solutions, including tree-planting to prevent flooding.”