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Natural flood management: small-scale progress and larger-scale challenges

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mark Wilkinson, Dr Paul Quinn



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019, © 2019 Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Management of fluvial flood risk in the UK is undergoing a paradigm shift, with a change in emphasis from solely working with structural defences to considering catchment-based measures which attenuate flood runoff. Natural Flood Management (NFM) is promoted as a method that can reduce flood risk through the alteration, restoration or use of landscape features. Here we highlight the potential to manage runoff locally in the rural landscape using NFM by targeting flow pathways and utilising floodplains and riparian zones. Using two case study examples from the UK, we show that by accumulating dispersed small-scale storage in small catchment areas (<10 km 2 ) can assist in attenuating flood runoff. However, there is currently a lack of evidence of measure effectiveness at larger catchment scales and for managing extreme flood events. Nevertheless, there is a strong evidence base to suggest many of these measures deliver a range of different ecosystem services if installed in the correct location in the landscape.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilkinson ME, Addy S, Quinn PF, Stutter M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scottish Geographical Journal

Year: 2019

Volume: 135

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 23-32

Online publication date: 09/05/2019

Acceptance date: 18/04/2019

Date deposited: 05/07/2019

ISSN (print): 1470-2541

ISSN (electronic): 1751-665X

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14702541.2019.1610571


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