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Natural Flood Barrier in the Slad Valley
Natural Flood Barrier in the Slad Valley

The University of Gloucestershire and Stroud District Council have announced that they will be hosting a major conference on Natural Flood Management in January 2017.

Like other parts of Gloucestershire, the Stroud Valleys suffered extensive flooding during the summer of 2007. In 2012 a project was established to implement natural flood management (NFM) throughout the catchment of the Stroud River Frome and associated tributaries. The project (Stroud Rural Sustainable Drainage project) implements techniques to reduce flood risk by improving and restoring natural habitats and restoring and mimicking natural drainage processes. Measures include creating ephemeral ponds to hold flood waters and remove silt, improving connectivity between water courses and floodplains and adding structures to water courses to slow the flow of flood waters downstream.

The conference, which is called ‘Natural Flood Management: Enabling Partnerships and Action’, will draw from the knowledge and experience acquired from this project, which is building partnerships between local communities, flood groups, local authorities and land managers to deliver effective natural flood management at the local scale.

The conference has lined up key speakers from Gloucestershire County Council, the Environment Agency and the Severn and Wye Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, and will feature seminars on partnership working and community involvement in natural flood management.

It will be held at the University of Gloucestershire Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester on Wednesday, 25th January 2017, from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs and is free to attend. However, places are limited and it is essential to book your place, which can be done via the Eventbrite website

Chris Short
Chris Short

Chris Short, a Reader in Environmental Governance in the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) at the University of Gloucestershire, said:

“This will be a conference that aims to increase the number of projects with natural flood management in them, reducing the barriers and increasing the opportunities.  The university is pleased to host the event and to be a partner in the Stroud project, something that we are delighted our students have been able to contribute to as well as the CCRI’s research expertise, which will support this important local project for the long-term.”

Cllr Simon Pickering, Chair of the Environment Committee at Stroud District Council, added:

“We are really pleased to be organising this Conference with the CCRI to share the practical experience and the learning we have gained in Stroud, with the aim of helping other communities affected by flooding to implement long-lasting natural flood management projects to reduce flooding and enhance local environments. Our success in Stroud is in large part due to the partnerships we have established and involvement of the wider community in the work.

We hope this conference will move the debate on from the science behind Natural Flood Management, and onto building the local partnerships that can spread the implementation of NFM across the country.” 


Information for Editors:

Conference webpage  

More information on the Stroud Rural Sustainable Drainage project.

The Stroud rural sustainable drainage project was recently awarded a 2016 Gloucestershire CPRE award for ‘innovative use of natural resources, including land and water’.

The CCRI worked with Stroud District Council to produce a film which won the ‘best green award’ at the fourth Stroud Community TV awards in March 2016.

Watch short ‘taster’ version

Watch full award winning version


Chris Short, Countryside and Community Research Institute at the University of Gloucestershire.  Tel +44 (0) 1242 714550

Chris Uttley, Project Manager for Stroud District Council. 01453 754464

Maria Hickman, Stroud District Council.