Marlfield Farm is one of five pilot sites working with the Environment Agency to create a series of Natural Flood Management (NFM) features. These features not only help to reduce flood risk in the local area but also help to create wetland habitats which promote a greater biodiversity on our farm.
The work involved the installation of a series of leaky dams and wetland scrapes as well as the planting of trees and shrubs within buffer zones around field corners and boundaries in strategic areas around the farm. A new mixed-species "cross-contour" hedge was also planted along an existing fence boundary. Together, these features are designed to intercept the flow of water during heavy rainfall events in order to "slow the flow" and reduce the speed at which water enters the main watercourse in the valley and therefore help to reduce flood risk.
The first real flooding event to test these features was "Storm Ciara" which battered the UK on the 9th February 2020. Similar to the "Boxing Day" floods of 2015, caused by Storm Desmond, this storm threw all the elements at us; heavy rain, hail, gale-force winds, thunder and lightning. We were very pleased with how the features performed during this heavy rain event and you can see a video of them in action below.