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Natural flood management – how effective is it?

Floods are costly and traumatic for the people whose homes and livelihoods are damaged or destroyed. In the UK, they are expected to become more frequent and severe with climate change. Around the country there is substantial investment in flood defences to protect communities and property from flooding, many of which involve working with natural processes, such as planting forests and restoring wetlands.

Natural flood management has been the subject of much public debate. This paper gives the first comprehensive assessment of the scientific evidence for its effectiveness. It is designed to be read by an informed but not technically specialist audience, and will enable practitioners and policy-makers to better understand the nature of the evidence for natural flood management practices.

This project forms part of the Restatements project funded by the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University.  It involved consultation with a very broad community (researchers, industry, NGOs and government) but was run completely independently.



Dr. Simon Dadson, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

Prof. Jim Hall, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford

Prof. Louise Heathwaite, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

Prof. Enda O’Connell, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University

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