Washland Meadows and NFM
Historically many of our floodplains were managed as species rich hay meadows, which were well suited to deal with occasional inundation from river flooding.
Washland meadows can be useful to increase water storage, and combined with management for hay provide multiple benefits for flooding and the landscape. There are a number of different techniques that can be used, such as intercepting drainage networks to back fill meadows or removing a section of the river bank to allow water to flow in during times of high water. Each site will dictate which technique is most appropriate.
We are in the process of producing guidance for washland meadows towards Natural Flood Management - watch this space!
We have funding to support work to enhance washland meadows in the Ouse catchment commencing in 2017. This work will build on surveys and analysis undertaken by The River Ouse Project (University of Sussex), Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust - targeting historic washland meadows.
• Work funded up to 100%.
• Including ecological surveys, planning and site work.
• Work supported by a range of local experts.
• Floodplain fields historically shown to be washland meadows.
• Disconnected floodplains.
• National Vegetation Classification MG5 grasslands.
• Where mosaic wetland and grassland habitats are present or could be enhanced.
• Design to allow meadows to increase water storage during extreme rainfall events and drain within 12 hours (where possible).
• May include restocking of meadow species.
• Well suited to light grazing regime and hay cut.
• Great benefits for biodiversity and water quality.