The Corry and Coly Natural Flood Management (NFM) Project focusses on the two sub-catchments of the river Axe, in the East Devon area. Both sub-catchments have properties in settlements (Dalwood and Colyton) that are at risk from flooding and there are water quality issues.
Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, Devon County Council’s Flood and Coastal Risk Team, East Devon AONB Partnership, Westcountry Rivers Trust and FWAG South West, a 2 year project is underway to tackle these issues and deliver multi-objectives, including for biodiversity and providing climate change resilience.
In 2018, the first stage in the project was to ground truth the Environment Agency’s Working with Natural Processes (WWNP) dataset (www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-with-natural-processes-to-reduce-flood-risk) that identifies, using the best available data, the opportunity areas for interventions that will help address flood risk and deliver other objectives. However, it is not known whether the opportunity areas identified through the WWNP dataset are technically/practically feasible, or whether the landowners are keen to install interventions.
By walking parts of the sub-catchments with each of the landowners in the area, the practical feasibility was assessed and a ‘working with natural processes design plan’ produced, drilling-down and ‘making real’ the WWNP dataset.
Through 2019 and into 2020 and working in conjunction with another AONB sister project, Woods for Water, work to install £50,000 of WWNP interventions on farms in the two sub-catchments is underway, working with local landowners. Hydrological monitoring will enable us to see the results. We have linked up with two facilitation fund groups, the Blackdown Hills Farming & Woodland Group and the East Devon Farmers Group (each 60 farmer members strong) and demonstration days have been organised.