Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Submitted by: Marcussen Consultancy

Description

This project will work with experts from the National Flood Forum and 10:10 to directly help a community on the front line of the effects of climate change here in the UK. We plan to reduce flood risk for 86 residents and seven community amenities including a primary school, secondary school and two pubs close to the River Stour in Worcestershire using natural flood management methods (NFM).

The area experienced flooding in 2007, 2008 and 2012, and flash flooding in 2016, and it is identified as being at high risk through the Lead Local Flood Authority. The emotional, environmental and economic costs of flooding are huge . Yet there are few opportunities to manage the risk with civil engineering alone, and the community want to play their part by taking practical action.

There was a community meeting in April this year attended by much of the village. Local flood risk was discussed and residents were keen to reduce this by implementing simple and natural flood management methods (NFM). Landowners and community members agreed to come together and seek out solutions; we aim to answer their call.

NFM uses soft flood defences such as leaky woody dams, debris dams (e.g. heather bales), hedge laying and afforestation (planting trees near the river to act as a ‘buffer zone’) to slow the flow of flood water. It is probably the most cost effective way for local communities to address flooding, and also offers opportunities for volunteers to play an instrumental part.

We’ll work with Wolverley Local Flood Forum, one of the NFF’s resident-led local groups that works with the wider community to understand and reduce flood risk. The project will be led by 10 volunteers and involve 50 more from the local community who will assist in laying the natural flood defences during intense volunteering weekends. We also hope to bring the two local schools to the site, so that pupils can ‘learn by doing’ - taking part in practical hands-on activity.

10:10 and NFF will consult with local landowners - who are already supportive of the project - to identify sites where NFM is achievable and will have maximum impact. Then we’ll bring in the lead volunteers, who will convene the local community to design and plan the NFM. The partnership will oversee and advise on all aspects of the project, from concept to design and delivery, including for example, ensuring the most effective tree species are used, and ensuring regular and ongoing maintenance of the NFM by the local flood group.

This project will leave a lasting legacy of beautiful and natural flood defences that will protect communities for years to come. By making the work accessible for wider community participation we aim to build a shared and sustainable solution that people can feel proud of. The work can help to build links both on the issue of flooding, and more generally, a vital boost to community spirit that is so vulnerable to the devastation of flooding.

In total, we estimate that over 2,000 people will benefit directly from the project. This includes 86 residents who will benefit from reduced flood risk, as well as several local amenities including two pubs and the putting green. Both residents and the wider local community will feel the benefits, including over 800 pupils who come to school here, many from neighboring villages. Similar NFM schemes, for example in Stroud, have demonstrably reduced flood risk. Bringing people together to protect the local institutions and facilities they rely upon is a powerful story, and one that deserves to be told.

The 10:10 Foundation

Location: Wolverley

In the face of flood risk, local people have come together to find their own sustainable solutions, demonstrating true tenacity and a can-do spirit. The project will leave an enduring legacy of beautiful natural flood defences that will protect and bolster the community for generations to come.
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