Parts of the UK are inundated with flood waters again and with a changing climate, this will be an ever increasing phenomenon. Therefore, innovative solutions should be explored to prevent heavy rainfall from flooding homes/businesses.
Upstream land management should focus on re-instating wetlands and features such as ox-bow lakes. Increased tree planting should be encouraged on farmland and paid for via agri-environment schemes, since water sinks into the soil under the trees at a much faster rate than in association with other habitats types, reducing surface run-off and increasing the capacity for water retention before the saturation point is reached.
In addition, the re-introduction of beaver, which is a native species that was hunted into extinction four centuries ago, would mitigate the impacts of flooding and restore a keystone species. By creating ecologically valuable wetland habitats upstream, they can help to mitigate bigger floods downstream.