Wetlands: Flood Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 7 February 2024.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to (a) produce centralised guidance and (b) provide training for (i) land managers, (ii) planning authorities and (iii) practitioners on how to create and manage wetlands for flood resilience.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Natural flood management (NFM) is a key part of our approach. As you mention, we acknowledge the vital role that wetlands can play as part of the suite of NFM measures, both in reducing flood risk and in delivering multiple other benefits.

We advocate the need for centralised NFM guidance and training that is relevant to all landscapes, including wetlands. The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) NFM Manual provides a step-by-step guide to natural flood management from identification through to implementation for a range of NFM measures. Wetlands are primarily covered in chapter 12 on floodplain reconnection.

In summer 2023, the Environment Agency surveyed NFM practitioners on their skills and training needs. The Environment Agency is now exploring training options.

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