Natural Flood Management

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Natural Flood Management

Natural Flood Management (NFM), sometimes also known as Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) or Nature-based Catchment Management (NbCM), uses natural processes and techniques to reduce flood risk.

How does it link to river restoration?

NFM implements natural techniques to restore or mimic the natural functioning of rivers, floodplains and the wider catchment to reduce flood risk downstream. Watercourses have the opportunity to restore natural flow and sediment regimes and wildlife habitats can be created. As well as lessening flood risk, NFM can also help boost water retention and make land more resilient to drought by slowing the flow of water.


What types of techniques are there?

  • Leaky dams
  • Swales
  • Offline ponds
  • Remeandering
  • Land management practices
  • Soil management
  • Beavers
Related projects & courses

RRC offer two back-to-back 1-day courses on Mapping Natural Flood Management. Find out more


From Manual of River Restoration Techniques:

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