Around £25m has been committed to projects that use nature to protect communities from flooding.
The funding, provided by the government and the environment agency, will support natural flood management schemes across England that use nature led techniques, such as tree planting and the creation of wetlands to slow and store water, reducing the risk of flood.
“This approach not only reduces flood risk and helps tackle climate change, it can also benefit water quality, restore habitats and boost biodiversity,” says environment minister, Rebecca Pow.
These schemes will also create more green spaces for communities and improve air quality, while building on the £15m natural flood management pilot programme, which supported 60 pilot projects up until 2021.
The equivalent of 1.6m cubic metres of water storage was created across those projects, and 15,000 homes were better protected from flooding, while 4,000ha of habitat were improved and 100ha of woodland were planted.
Environment Agency chair, Alan Lovell says, “In the face of a changing climate, and with the frequency and severity of flooding only likely to get worse, we need to act now.
“The pioneers who already work with nature-based solutions to achieve greater flood resilience give me hope.”
The new funding is available to environmental non-governmental organisations, businesses, farmers, catchment partnerships, flood risk management authorities and community groups.
Expressions of interest opened 22 September, and will close 10 November this year.