The third round of the Natural Flood Management (NFM) auction in Somerset was delivered by FWAG SouthWest in March 2020, in partnership with the Environment Agency and funded by Somerset Rivers Authority.

This year’s auction ran from 18th-30th March, following two successful trials in the county in 2018 and 2019. This year saw 175 bids submitted through the online platform, from 23 different farmers and land managers across Somerset. Seven different NFM measures were available to bid for this year, including grassland subsoiling and slitting, hedge planting and maize management. These measures all help to slow the flow of water in the catchment, through improving soil structure to encourage infiltration or by acting as a physical barrier to runoff.

The auction is part of a wider project by the Environment Agency looking at different mechanisms for providing funding to deliver environmental outcomes, and aims to reduce the barriers that can be associated with traditional funding methods, such as complex application processes and paperwork. Richard Masters who farms near Frome was successful in bidding for maize management in last year’s auction, and said “The online auction tool was quick and simple to use. I was able to achieve what the farm needed with the grant money and I’m really pleased I took part.”

In total, over £60,000 of bids were made and FWAG SW are currently arranging contracts with farmers for delivery in Autumn 2020.

For more information on this auction and the previous rounds, you can visit the webpage by clicking here.

Additionally, contact Victoria Munday [email protected] for more information.