Trust in call for evidence to boost case for natural water management solutions

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is asking designers and managers of man-made wetlands to complete a survey to help them make the case for natural solutions to become the first choice option for water management.

Constructed Wetland for treating agricultural runoff at Powhillion Farm Dumfriesshire 8 months after construction - image: Catherine McIlwraith WWT
Constructed Wetland for treating agricultural runoff at Powhillion Farm Dumfriesshire 8 months after construction - image: Catherine McIlwraith WWT

The survey is available at www.wwt.org.uk/wetlandsurvey and entries are added to an online map as they come in.

It is designed to capture the wider benefits of such schemes, such as increasing local wildlife and being a place for kids to play, of SuDS, constructed treatment wetlands, and natural flood and coastal management schemes.

WWT aims to lobby local and central government on the case for natural solutions to water management by presenting their full value to society

Those completing the survey will be able to get support and advice on how to maximise the value of their scheme for wildlife and local people.

Leading the initiative is Dr Chloe Hardman, who said: "Natural approaches to solving flooding and pollution problems, such as SuDS and leaky dams, are becoming mainstream, but we haven’t quite reached the tipping point where they are considered in every case.

"When wetland areas are included in these schemes, there is huge potential to create havens for wildlife and, as a result, lovely natural spaces for people to enjoy.

"Essentially we’re trying to assess the true value of these schemes. Some will already be assessing these benefits, but many won’t. Engineers don’t necessarily get the brief from their clients to build in wildlife or community benefits. So, we’re also here to join up the dots and help these schemes reach their full potential."

The schemes that WWT is looking at fall broadly into the categories: natural flood management, such as leaky dams, SuDS constructed treatment wetlands, or other wetlands designed to improve water quality, and managed coastal realignment.


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