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University public lecture to look at natural flood prevention

A public lecture at the University of Gloucestershire will discuss pioneering techniques to reduce the risk of flooding which will also help wildlife. ‘Natural Flood Management: Letting Nature Do What Nature Does’ will take place at the Oxstalls campus, Gloucester, from 6pm on Thursday 25 February.

Drawing on his work with Stroud District Council to introduce a brand new Rural Sustainable Drainage System (RSuDs) to the Stroud Valleys, Chris Short from the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) will talk about how small-scale low cost interventions in different locations can reduce the risk and frequency of flooding. The RSuDs swapped concrete and steel for natural features and trees to reduce the risk of flooding which has also been beneficial for the local wildlife.

There are three main areas, Chris says, which he will discuss: ‘The first is that the right management can increase the rate at which rainfall is absorbed into the soil, and this is not just planting trees. The second is by increasing the debris in small streams at the top of the river system. The third is a range of actions that individual property owners and communities can take to add small natural features close to the home.’

With the recent devastation in parts of Scotland and northern England just the latest example of a seemingly increasing flooding problem, never have flood defences been so heavily scrutinised. However, it’s not just about defence and as Chris will allude to in his talk, ‘the key aspect is for an integrated approach to the way we manage our river systems. Flood protection is critical but we should not make this the only line of defence, because it is the last line of defence.’

All are welcome to the lecture and entry is free but booking is required.