Severn Rivers Trust secures funding for Natural Flood Management


The Severn Rivers Trust have successfully secured funding through Defra’s £25 million Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme. The project will deliver a catchment wide set of projects within the Illey Brook catchment near Halesowen in the West Midlands. Locally known for flooding after heavy rain, many residents receive flood alerts regularly. The local stretch of river will often breach its banks and flooding the A456 near Halesowen Athletics and Cycling Club.

The project’s aim is to work with local landowners to undertake NFM interventions on their land. Much of the work will focus on improved soil and land management to slow and store surface water, reducing runoff and soil erosion, and supporting agriculture. There will also be new woodland areas and hedgerows planted to support biodiversity. Naturally many of these nature-based solutions have multiple benefits for wildlife and people.

As a tributary of the river Stour, this project will build on the successful outreach work undertaken by Severn Rivers Trust in 2021 which saw the production of farm plans for landowners that highlighted opportunities to support Natural Flood Management. The new project will review these farm plans as well as further engage the farming community and local residents.

The Environment Agency is managing the new £25 million programme with work taking place from now until March 2027. The funding builds on the £15m natural flood management pilot programme which ran until 2021, creating the equivalent of 1.6 million cubic metres of water storage and reducing flood risk to 15,000 homes.

The Natural Flood Management programme will help meet the goals of the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England, which provides a longer-term vision of how we will better protect and prepare homes and businesses from flooding and coastal change and create climate resilient places.

We are proud to be one of seven rivers trust in the UK awarded a combined total of £5.6m for more than 20 Natural Flood Management projects which use nature interventions to protect communities at risk of flooding, as well as improving biodiversity and habitat.

If you’re a land owner interested in getting involved with the Illey Brook project, then contact our Senior Catchment Restoration Officer Thomas Hartland Smith:

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