The natural capital of floodplains: management, protection and restoration to deliver greater benefits Valuing Nature | Natural Capital Synthesis Report.
Floodplains are important natural capital assets which deliver a wide range of benefits to people. The interface between terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in floodplains fosters both a wealth and a complexity of resources that are challenging to measure and compare. Intensive agriculture covers nearly 70% of English and Welsh floodplains, compared to just 11% for species-rich habitats such as wet woodland, neutral grassland, fens and marshes. 42% of rivers have been deepened or embanked to such an extent that they are no longer connected to their floodplains. The benefits delivered by floodplain meadows, wet woodland, fen, and marsh are greater and more diverse than those supplied by intensively cultivated land. Management choices greatly affect the extent of the benefits delivered. A new agri-environment scheme option to support the nature-friendly management of floodplain habitats would promote the delivery of benefits. Click here to read and download the report