Online catalogue of nature-based flood risk management projects in the UK

"Avon Meadows Community Wetlands" by Geoff Moore licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

“Avon Meadows Community Wetlands” by Geoff Moore licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

This project has created an online catalogue of projects where people and organisations are working together with natural processes to enhance features that can help to reduce the risk of flooding downstream, often in tandem with expected environmental benefits such as reducing diffuse pollution, erosion or sedimentation problems, whilst improving biodiversity and amenity value.

The Environment Agency and partners have responded to Pitt Review Recommendation 27 to “achieve greater working with natural processes” (Greater working with natural processes in flood and coastal erosion risk management, Environment Agency, 2012).

There are now numerous projects throughout the UK where such nature-based measures are being implemented. Many are based on relatively small-scale features, such as buffer strips, ditch blocking and planting floodplain woody vegetation, although some may implement these measures over a larger area.

Although local in scale, these features require careful assessment of their overall reduction of flood risk at larger scales, so that in reducing flood peaks and improving storage in one part of the a catchment they do not conspire to make flooding worse elsewhere.

The JBA Trust and Lancaster Environment Centre teamed up through a summer internship project to bring together information about projects where the concepts of working with natural processes are being applied.

The catalogue includes both projects where work has happened on-the-ground, or is underway, and some where modelling studies have been applied to assess the potential and opportunity for future schemes.

Our primary intention with this web site is to assemble a map-based catalogue and, in particular, to begin identifying how the performance of the projects is being assessed so that we can build a picture of how working with natural processes delivers benefits at a broader scale.

Guidance and Resources

A project report which documents the process involved in creating the geo-database is available to download here.

The interactive, open source mapping can be accessed here.


We thank the Environment Agency for permission to use their databases. We identified over 130 schemes and have approached all of the implementing organisations for details of those schemes included in the catalogue and would like to thank all those who responded.

We would also like to thank Duncan Nicholls, an internship student from Lancaster Environment Centre, for researching and collating all the project information and creating the interactive map based catalogue.

Duncan’s internship was co-funded by British Water as part of a programme to support innovation in catchment management.


We hope that the catalogue is useful and would be pleased to hear from you if you wish to add to, or update, any of the information it contains. We have sought permission, where possible, to reproduce information contained in the catalogue.

Please do contact us if you think anything needs to be corrected or removed.  Thank you.