This study used a modelling approach to investigate the possible impact on flood risk of growing energy crops in the floodplain. Miscanthus and short rotation coppice (SRC) willow were the energy crops considered during the project.
Landowners and farmers have been encouraged to grow energy crops through grants from the Energy Crops Scheme which closed in August 2013. This has increased the area of energy crops grown in England. Little is known about the impact, if any, on flood risk in the locality and/or further afield from the planting and management of energy crops on floodplains. In certain locations, new energy crop plantations could provide a flood risk management function and additional environmental benefits.
The project investigated the possible scale of the impact of miscanthus and SRC willow plantations on river and floodplain flows, flood depth and the overall impact on flood risk locally as well as upstream/downstream.