Healthy Northern Rivers

The economic return to investing in nature within river catchments to improve water quality and reduce flooding is well understood. Businesses such as water companies, agri-food, infrastructure and insurance companies, as well as government agencies have recognised this and are exploring ways to identify shared interests in natural assets and identify opportunity to develop investment.

In the North only approximately 21% of the water bodies in the North meet national (WFD) standards. The North of England contains significant areas of high and medium risk from river flooding. This “concept” will aim to upscale existing activities and best practice in funding (for example see Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) and Wyre NFM Investment Readiness Project) and implementing nature recovery interventions. This will include restoring and creating habitats including reedbeds, alluvial woodlands and other wetlands. It will also involve naturalising river systems, reconnecting flood plains to rivers, creating leaky dams or reintroducing key species. Working with farmers to improve land and soil management will be key to promote sustainable production methods.