Forty projects which will use natural processes such as planting trees and creating wetlands to reduce the risk of flooding are set to benefit from a £25 million government programme, Floods Minister Robbie Moore announced 23 February.

The announcement comes after a wide range of applications were submitted to the Environment Agency by community groups, environmental charities and councils for grants, following the launch of the largest-ever investment in natural flood management schemes in September 2023. The Environment Agency led a review of these applications, with input from Defra and Natural England.

Using nature as an ally

The new funding builds on the £15m natural flood management pilot programme which ran until 2021, as part of the government’s plan to increase the nation’s flood resilience, natural flood management processes protect, restore, and mimic the natural functions of catchments, floodplains and the coast to slow and store water.

Floods Minister Robbie Moore said:

“These schemes will complement traditional bricks-and-mortar defences, all funded by our £5.2 billion flood programme. This programme is one more part of our plan to bolster flood resilience and shield communities – all whilst boosting biodiversity, restoring habitats and protecting the environment for future generations.”


Coombe Hill Nature Reserve, Severn Valley, Gloucestershire, credit: Kumweni


The Environment Agency is managing the new £25 million programme with work taking place from now until March 2027. The programme will be working to meet the goals of the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England, providing a longer-term vision of how homes and businesses can be better protected and prepared from flooding and coastal change and create climate resilient places. Additional benefits include improved air quality and habitats for wildlife.

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of The Rivers Trust, said:

“We warmly welcome this significant fund which will not only protect people and businesses from flooding, but will also make more space for nature, purify pollutants, recharge groundwater aquifers, lock up organic carbon and create amenity value for communities.”

The full list of successful projects is listed on the UK government press release here.

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