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River Conservation Project Reduces Flood Pressures

Flooding is a regular occurrence across the Trent Valley and at times it can impact roads, homes and businesses.


Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has been working hard with partners and landowners to lessen the impact of flooding on public spaces by reconnecting existing wetlands and recreating new wetland habitats typically found within a thriving floodplain.


Transforming the Trent Valley is a partnership project of 18 organisations working together to restore and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the Trent Valley, with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at the helm.


Victoria Bunter, Senior Living Floodplains Officer says: “We have created wetland features including ponds, reedbeds and swales, all aimed at protecting and buffering the watercourse along its length. We are working in partnership with local landowners, quarry companies and local authorities to create a more natural and resilient landscape to deal with the pressures of pollution, flooding and climate change.”


Restoring the natural features of the floodplain restores its natural capacity to act like a sponge and soak up water which would otherwise spill out at pinch points, such as in urban areas. When rainfall is high, a healthy floodplain is our first line of defence against flooding events.


“On the Burton Washlands, we have enhanced 46.35hectares of habitat and 790 metres of river channel. This area encompasses Claymills in the north and follows the River Trent upstream to Tucklesholme Nature Reserve in the south. The project, funded by the Environment Agency and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, is in partnership with East Staffordshire Borough Council” adds Victoria.


At Tucklesholme Nature Reserve, work has focused around the northern lake and adjacent river bank, where the floodplain has been lowered.


“This has enabled the Transforming the Trent Valley team to create a shallower gradient to the river bank, which will help water flow into the northern lake more easily. A channel has also been adapted to allow a continuous connection between the river and the lake. Not only does this contribute to flood prevention downstream, but it also means fish will have access to an area of calm water to rest and breed, whilst still able to move freely between environments.”


There are plans to deliver more floodplain enhancements in the future and continue to monitor the work already completed. The focus is on renaturalising watercourses so that floodwaters are held in the floodplain, helping wetland species and habitats to thrive.


For more information about Transforming the Trent Valley’s work visit:


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