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£7million project to help improve flood resilience in Devon communities

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A pioneering project to help Devon communities become more resilient against flooding and climate change has been awarded just over £7 million of Government funding.

Devon County Council’s initiative ‘Managing Big Problems in Small Places’ is one of 25 across the country to have successfully secured a share of £150 million funding from the Department for Food & Rural Affairs’ Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme (FCRIP).

The six-year project, which is currently in its development phase, is due to launch next spring. It will aim to identify a range of low-cost flood resilience measures that can be delivered in communities where traditional flood defences would not be appropriate or cost effective.

The scheme will target areas with river catchments that respond rapidly to rainfall and are at higher risk of flash flooding, often giving residents little time to react.

The County Council and a range of partners will trial what level of protection can be provided by natural flood management measures, such as tree planting, reducing soil compaction, and restoring floodplain. New mapping tools will be developed to inform where best to locate nature-based solutions in the future.

Tailored flood warning systems and property flood resilience measures are also expected to be explored through the initiative.

Photo of Councillor Roger Croad
Councillor Roger Croad

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said: “There are many areas throughout Devon where engineering solutions simply aren’t viable options to alleviate the risk of flooding, particularly where there may only be a few properties involved. That’s where this project can help. Although it’s in its very early stages, the aim of this pilot will be to trial a variety of different natural measures which can all be effective tools in reducing flood risk, as well as examining the potential for these techniques to be replicated elsewhere.”

For further information and updates on the project, please visit our webpages.