UK farmers holding off floods the natural way
Planting trees, creating floodplains and rewilding rivers are among the new techniques being used to adapt to a heating climate
The streams, or becks, that run through James Robinson’s Lake District farm used to be cleaned out regularly – with vegetation yanked out and riverbeds dredged, or even completely filled in. “The becks on our farm have suffered from overmanagement. We’ve got these elevated becks on some of our farm as well as some that have been cleaned up and cleaned out – it’s been a bit rubbish for ecology and for flood management,” he says now.
His family had run the farm for generations, but Robinson was already rethinking the way that things had been done, and had taken the farm organic 20 years earlier. And as flooding started to hit the farm more frequently, he began to wonder if changes could be made to the landscape that could make it more resilient.