Work has begun on a major natural flood management project just upstream of Frome. We have utilised a variety of NFM measures to help reduce flooding downstream, improve water quality, and enhance important riparian habitats. This includes lowering the bank to allow the river to overflow into scrapes across the site, the creation of a permanent backwater, ditch blocking and redirecting, as well as bank regrading to open the river channel. These measures will reconnect the river to the floodplain which will help to relieve flooding pressure further downstream during periods of heavy rainfall, as well as restoring important wetland habitats.

Drone photographs © Environment Agency


To monitor the impact of the project, we have established an ecological and hydrological baseline of the site over the last year. We will continue to collect data and advise on the management of the site for the next 5 years.
Notable ecology found to date includes Barbastelle and Daubenton’s bats; both of which forage over open water. We hope that the creation of wetlands and backwaters will encourage more of these bats onto the site. We have also found evidence of Grass snakes, which rely on riparian edge habitats. A local ornithological expert has been engaged to monitor the birds and butterflies in the area; notable species include Spotted Flycatchers, Blackcaps and Green woodpeckers. We expect to find more wading birds, such as Snipe, utilising the new wetland habitats over winter.

Backwater with year-round open water, which will be connected to the overflow scrape during periods of heavy rainfall


The ongoing management of the site will include reseeding of the scrapes with a diverse grass mix, the creation of wet woodland around the scrapes (using water and shade tolerant species including Alder, Willow, Hazel and Birch species) as well as grassland management. Working with the landowner, we hope to restore a more diverse sward and create a mosaic of different habitats across the site through cutting and grazing.

Bank regarding to increase capacity of the river channel and create bank habitats for riparian plants and animals


To monitor the natural flood management impact, we have installed flow monitors upstream and downstream of the measures. We will look for an increased delay in the peak flow between these points pre and post-project to confirm a positive NFM impact.
FWAG are currently working with two other farms in the area on similar multi-benefit projects. Cumulatively, we hope to relieve flooding pressures and to create a thriving habitat corridor for the benefit of people and nature around Frome.



With thanks to Somerset Council for facilitating the funding of this project.