Natural Flood Risk Management Workshop, Belford 21st April 2015
(in conjunction with Arup and Newcastle University)
The River Restoration Centre held its first 2015 technical workshop in Belford. This afforded an exciting opportunity to visit the Environment Agency’s much acclaimed catchment scale natural flood management scheme upstream of the town. The course was attended by 30 delegates from a range of organisations including rivers trusts, statutory authorities, universities, consultants, and NGOs. All wanted to know more about how to develop NFM plans, how to engage with landowners, what were the critical ‘need to knows’ when implementing NFM, how to demonstrate success and encourage sceptics to agree to have a go. Sandwiched between more traditional lectures but peppered with examples of what could be done and clear statements about what interventions might be appropriate for different types of catchment types or indeed different parts of the catchment, the site visit provided the perfect opportunity for delegates to talk about a range of issues and get to grips with the different types of often small, but significant (in terms of overall impact) natural flood management interventions. And then back in the class-room desk-based interactive activities helped to consolidate thoughts and ideas expressed during the day.
The course, was of one day duration, so whilst we are to cover a lot of the fundamentals, elements such as best practice monitoring of projects and how to quantify the multiple benefits could not be discussed in detail. However, the good news is that these themes will be covered by two workshops later in the year.
Join us on future courses: The feedback from this course was excellent and we hope that our other courses this year, will be equally useful and informative to their participants. Visit http://www.therrc.co.uk/rrc-courses-and-workshops. And if you have an area of river management or restoration that you feel RRC should develop as a workshop for your organisation please let us know.
Acknowledgements: The RRC would like to extend a massive thank you to the support of Drs Quinn and Nicholson in delivering the course. Without their input it simply wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks also go the Environment Agency for enabling us to visit the sites to demonstrate natural flood management, to the Bell View Centre, Belford for their hospitality, superb lunch and delicious homemade cakes and, to whoever ordered the fantastic weather for the day!
Belford scoops award: The EA-led Belford scheme has just won the ICE North East Robert Stephenson Award on the basis of its collaboration between statutory bodies and academia and the use of low cost techniques across the catchment to attenuate flood flows to provide long terms benefits to the local community. So what better place to visit as part of RRC’s technical course programme.