Using natural flood management to reduce flood risk with the Tweed Forum

Case Study Complete
Date added: 11/07/2016
Natural flood management techniques have been employed at Crookston Farm to reduce flood risk for the surrounding area.

Jim and Graeme Sinclair are tenant farmers at Crookston hill farm, 15km north east of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

Recent flooding events have been a major concern for residents of the towns of Stow and Galashiels. The Tweed Forum has been working with farmers like the Sinclairs, and in conjunction with Scottish Borders Council, to look at ways of slowing the flow of surface water run-off from farms within the upper catchment of the Gala Water.

At Crookston, 24ha of floodplain and hill slope is managed to help alleviate flooding problems. Twenty hectares of native woodland has been planted and several water retention ponds have been created.

The trees will trap vegetation to help slow the flow. The rank vegetation will also help slow the rate of water transport and encourage sediments to settle on the floodplain.

Free from bankside grazing, the main channel will become narrower and deeper, encouraging a more natural riverine system. The trees that have been planted will benefit wildlife and the floodplain woodland planting will also sequester carbon. This will lower the farm’s carbon footprint.

In time, the woodlands can be coppiced for wood fuel and timber products. The sites may also provide opportunities for duck shooting and deer stalking.