Integrated land and water management in floodplains in England
Agricultural Flood Defence Schemes in floodplain and coastal areas were once an important element of Government support for farmers in Britain. More recently, however, changing priorities in the countryside, concern about environmental quality and perceptions of increased flood risk in lowland areas, in part linked to climate change, have promoted a re-appraisal of land management options and policies for floodplain areas. This paper examines the changes in floodplain management according to societal demand for ecosystem goods and services. Generic scenarios are developed to consider management options that focus on single objectives, such as maximising agricultural production, maximising biodiversity and minimising flood risk in the catchment. It also explores options which attempt to combine multiple objectives. This emerging scenario analysis will result in an integrated ecosystems approach that can help to inform future policy and practice for floodplain management, hopefully in ways that appeals to key stakeholders.