IHRR works closely with community organisations, government and the public to develop solutions to some of the biggest flood hazards in UK. One particular strategy is using the landscape to reduce flood risk by making small changes in land use. This could potentially have a large impact on flood risks and hazards, but also local ecology. By making changes to the land in order to prevent flooding, it is also possible to create ecological benefits at the same time, such as creating new wildlife habitats for different kinds of animal species imperative to the overall health of the river and surrounding countryside.
One local organisation that IHRR works closely with is the Eden Rivers Trust located in Cumbria. The Eden Rivers Trust’s aims and goals are focused on conservation, scientific research and education. It includes large involvement from the public in conservation projects and helps local communities become increasingly aware of the ecological importance of the Eden and its tributaries.
The Eden River is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and hosts a plethora of wildlife and is an important fishing resource. It also hosts the largest nesting of Sand Martins in the UK. Monitoring river catchments is crucial to understanding the ecology of the river as a whole, so the Eden Rivers Trust uses remote sensing techniques, such as aerial photography and environmental modeling from SCIMAP, to identify where the largest contributions can be made to the river’s ecosystems and spot potential problems, such as potential flood risks and hazards.
The Eden Rivers Trust is also lead UK partner of ALFA (Adaptive Land use for Flood Alleviation). ALFA is a European-wide project that brings together researchers from UK, Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands to develop efficient ways to adapt land use to address flooding. One method is to adapt the land to store water when flooding occurs and look closely at how people upstream and downstream of one another affect the rivers that run through their communities.
For more information on activities of the Eden Rivers Trust and ALFA go to:
Click here for an introduction by Professor Stuart Lane on SCIMAP