Environmental management – guidance

Flooding and coastal change: guidance for practitioners

Guidance for flood risk management authorities and those working in the flood and coastal risk management sector.

This guide sets out detailed information for flood risk management authorities and others involved in managing flood and coastal erosion risks in England.

In addition, Defra has issued guidance and information notes on a variety of issues which can be accessed through the flood risk legislation and guidance guide.

Model land drainage byelaws

Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) and local authorities have the power, under the Land Drainage Act 1991, to make byelaws ‘for the purpose of preventing flooding or remedying or mitigating any damage caused by flooding’.

Defra has published model byelaws which give IDBs and local authorities an indication of how they could use their powers. Adopt byelaws only as genuinely required to address an existing problem.

Using natural processes and land management approaches

Land management practices can help to manage flood risk at a local level. For example, reducing run-off and sedimentation in water courses or the restoration of wetlands and woodlands may reduce the level of flooding downstream. Such initiatives may also have wider environmental and social benefits, including creating species-rich wildlife habitats, reducing carbon emissions and improving water quality.

More information on managing flood risk by working with natural processes is available on the Environment Agency’s website.

Multiple objective land management demonstration projects

Defra’s flood management programme is supporting 3 projects which aim to demonstrate the contributions that land management changes could make to managing local flood risk, at the same time as contributing to wider environmental objectives.

Each project is a collaborative initiative led by Forest Research, the National Trust and the Environment Agency respectively. Work started in the summer of 2009. The first 2 to 3 years was directed towards making the land management changes. The projects are now focused on monitoring the impacts of the changes with a view to evaluating the benefits and reporting the outcomes in 2015.

Further details:

Flood portal

Further information for practitioners is also on the local government association’s flood portal