THE Welsh Government is supporting natural flood management (NFM) projects across Wales with more than £2million in grant funding.
The funds will help Risk Management Authorities – such as local authorities and Natural Resources Wales – to combat the impacts of climate change as flood risks intensify, using natural methods.
NFM uses techniques such as tree-planting, leaky dams, salt marsh, and dune restoration, the re-introduction of meanders and natural flood plains to reduce or slow the rate of run-off into rivers and hold back water where it is safe to do so or lessen the impact of coastal inundation and storm damage.
As well as helping to manage flood risks to property, NFM can also help to promote wider biodiversity, water quality, and amenity improvements, as well as learning benefits for both the public and risk management authorities.
The announcement follows an invite to local authorities to submit bids for such schemes in April.
The first ten NFM projects have been approved, all of which will receive 100% grant funding over the next two years.
More than £2m will be provided to schemes throughout Wales.
One such scheme is planned for the village of Dwyran, Anglesey, which will reduce run-off, store water and reduce the flood risk to nearby properties with a history of flooding.
Additional ponds and meanders in the stream will create new wildlife habitat on an old school field, and create a new green space for community benefit.
Also planned is Neath Port Talbot’s project at Brynau and Preswylfa, which will be developed in collaboration with the Woodland Trust to plant new native woodland on sites at the Gnoll Country Park.
The project will aim to reduce the flood risk to Neath and surrounding communities by holding water in the upper catchment and reducing peak flows during storm events, benefitting up to 250 homes and more than 150 businesses.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “I would like to thank our Risk Management Authorities who have responded promptly and positively to the invite for applications which I announced in April.
“I am very pleased to see that all of those schemes which were submitted have now been approved for delivery.
“The NFM programme is one of a number of improvements I set out in the spring to support Risk Management Authorities to reduce flood risk and accelerate the delivery of schemes which will help defend homes and build resilience to the increased risks of climate change.
“NFM is a key part of our ambitious approach to preventing flooding to communities as set out in our new National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management which was laid in the Senedd last week.”
As part of the NFM programme, Risk Management Authorities will be brought together to monitor ongoing work and share best practice, allowing those carrying out works to establish what works well in different environments, and to encourage the use of more natural flood management schemes in future.