Scottish consultation on building flood resilient places

A consultation on a proposed Scottish National Flood Resilience strategy seeks views on how to build community flood resilience and engage a broader range of delivery partners to implement more diverse flood management actions faster. The consultation results could lead to support becoming available for communities to prepare for and adapt to the threat of flooding.

Actions to complement existing and planned flood protection measures could include:

  • More natural flood management measures like tree planting and use of natural landforms to slow run-off and capture water
  • Greater use of blue-green infrastructure such as urban green spaces and ponds to reduce the amount of water flowing into drains
  • Improved community resilience, such as through the funding and training of local flood groups to help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from flooding events

The proposals sit alongside wider work to adapt Scotland to the threat of climate change, including Scotland’s third National Adaptation Plan, which is due to be published in the autumn.

Launching the consultation during a visit to Alva in Clackmannanshire to see local community flood resilience work, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Energy Mairi McAllan said, “Flooding is Scotland’s biggest climate adaptation challenge. As we have sadly seen recently, it can have a devastating impact on communities and people – as well as the direct impacts to flooded homes and business, it can disrupt lives, livelihoods and affect physical and mental health long after the waters have receded.

“Climate change means extreme weather events like floods will become more frequent, which is why we’re investing £42 million each year and an additional £150 million during this parliament on measures to reduce the impacts of flooding.

“However, at the same time we need to learn to adapt the places where we live and work to flooding. We want to move away from thinking we can eradicate flood risk to a position where we are working across society to create flood resilient places.

“We want to hear people’s views on how we can reduce our exposure to flooding and lessen the impact when it does happen – and we want to involve a much broader range of people and organisations in doing so. I urge anyone with an interest to respond to our consultation to make Scotland as flood resilient as possible for generations to come.”

In relation to soil health, the consultation document sets out a number of questions around the use of natural flood management (NFM) measures, which protect, restore, and mimic the natural functions of catchments, floodplains and the coast to slow and store water and dissipate wave energy.

The document says that NFM measures can include soil and land management, river and floodplain management, woodland management, run-off management and coast and estuary management. It asks respondents to comment on which NFM measures they think might be most helpful, including using soil and land management techniques to slow down the flow of water and increase infiltration and retention, using floodplains more effectively, increasing woodland and enhancing peatlands.

Carol Raeburn, Director, Scottish Flood Forum said, “Recovery from a flood event can be a long journey. Many of the communities we work with find comfort in forming a flood action group like the volunteers from Menstrie, Alva and Tillicoultry here today, showcasing what they can do to prepare for, respond to and look after their neighbours.

“With climate change we have all witnessed the frequency and severity of flood events in recent months. This is why it is so important that the people of Scotland take this opportunity to take part in the public consultation as individuals and as community groups to help shape Scotland’s first national flood strategy for future weather events.”

Find out more and take part in the consultation

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