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Natural Flood Management - The farmer's view

A new sustainable approach to flood risk management which utilises land management has been brought to the forefront of policy making in Scotland through a policy chain including the EU Water Framework Directive 2000, the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003, the EU Floods Directive 2007 and the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009. This new approach manages risk in an integrated and holistic way, to proactively tackle the causes of flooding. Land use is central. Natural flood management (NFM) utilises land management measures to store water and slow the flow in upland areas to reduce flood risk downstream. NFM measures typically include wetland and bog creation or restoration, improvement and maintenance of buffers strips, contour ploughing and afforestation, and the installation of leaky barriers in water courses. To date, uptake of NFM by farmers has been poor - suggesting substantial barriers to implementation exist.