Dorset National Landscape is one step closer to receiving significant funding for natural flood management projects in west Dorset and receives Ministerial visit to look at water quality issues.

River Brit (c) Henry Pike, Youth Winner, Take a Dorset View

The Dorset National Landscape team have passed the first hurdle with their Natural Flood Management Programme funding bid. Together with Dorset Wildlife Trust and West Dorset Wilding, the application was submitted to the Environment Agency for the wider River Brit Catchment (which includes the Simene, Mangerton and Asker as well as the River Brit).

The bid is to finance over thirty natural flood solutions to be installed in the catchment to ultimately slow the flow of water down to Bridport and reduce the impact of property flooding along the way.

Leaky dam to slow water flow (c) Ian Rees

Techniques for natural flood management that will be used in the River Brit area include creating leaky dams in the headwaters, restoring river channels, and reconnecting floodplains, so that they can all do their jobs better.

A big part of the bid is to monitor the effectiveness of these interventions, so that we can be more confident about their ability to reduce flooding in the future. The Dorset National Landscape team have until September 2024 to develop a full business case, get the required permissions, and start baseline monitoring. There’s lots to be getting on with.

Dr Phil Sterling, Chair of the Dorset National Landscape, says: “We’re delighted at this bid’s success, which will help us build on our partnership with farmers, landowners and conservation organisations throughout the Brit catchment to reduce the impact of flooding in a nature-positive way.”

And the good news isn’t just confined to the River Brit – the National Trust was also successful with a bid on the Swan Brook, in Purbeck.

Read more about the project.

CROWD celebrations at the River Char in 2023

Ministerial Visit

Dorset rivers were also in the spotlight this week with a visit from Robbie Moore MP, the DEFRA Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Water and Rural Growth). The Clean Rivers of West Dorset (CROWD) group met the minister to help him understand water quality in the bathing lagoons at Charmouth and Seatown. Find out more on the CROWD website.