'No evidence' natural flood defence schemes like planting trees actually work, analysis shows

Natural flood defence schemes, such as planting trees, crop growing and wetlands, are not “a silver bullet” for preventing flooding, analysis shows.

Researchers said such measures could play a role in curbing floods, particularly on a small scale.

But a lack of monitoring means their potential is unclear and the hope they could stop the worst floods is not backed by evidence.

Dr Simon Dadson, of Oxford University , said: “Natural flood management can help if implemented well in carefully chosen locations, but it’s not a silver bullet.”

Scenes like these, near Sheffield, could become more common in future
(Photo: PA)

And Dr Dadson warned extreme flooding, such as when Storm Desmond hit parts of the UK in 2015, could be “simply overwhelming” in the future.

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