Government funds innovative and bespoke flood defence projects

Some 34 community-led projects have won funding for natural flood defences as part of a Government drive to pioneer innovative techniques to reduce flood risk.

The £1m competition, billed by MPs as the first of its kind, will see plans to use landscape features such as ponds, banks, meanders, channels and trees to store, drain or slow flood water.

Another 24 catchment-scale projects were also allocated funding to develop larger-scale initiatives. Cumbria, Greater Manchester Merseyside, Cheshire and Wolsingham all received over £1m.

Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Flood defence technology is better than ever. By using a mix of natural and concrete defences we can provide the best flood protection."

Coffey visited two schemes in Sutton and Roxwell. Following flooding in Roxwell last year the community bid for funding to improve land and ditch management. The project got £50,000.

Sutton’s sustainable drainage in schools project received £50,000 to improve the town’s natural flood defences and protect more than 100 properties.

The allocations came from £15 million of natural flood management funding, which was announced in March, following the Autumn statement.

Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd said: "There is no one-size-fits-all solution to flooding and this scheme is a fantastic example of how we can use a variety of measures."

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