Webinar Series

Our series of 60-minute webinars to allow NFM researchers and practitioners to share knowledge and experience.

Recordings of webinars to date are available here.

Upcoming webinars:

16 July  2020 12:30 – 13:30 Professor Tim Allott and Dr Emma Shuttleworth, University of Manchester, Protect NFM

Peatland Catchments and Natural Flood Management

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here

Peatlands cover nearly 10% of the UK’s land cover but few of our peatlands are in a near-natural state.  Most have been damaged by drainage, air pollution, fire, erosion and other land-use pressures, and the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number of projects aiming to restore peatland landscapes. Many communities at risk of flooding have peatlands in their upstream catchments, and peatland restoration is increasingly linked to flood risk reduction.

In this webinar Tim and Emma will evaluate the current evidence that restoration of peatlands can reduce the peak flows of rivers and contribute meaningfully to Natural Flood Management. They will summarise the findings of a recent report to the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands, work supported by the NERC ‘Protect-NFM’ project.

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here

20 August 2020 12:30 – 13:30: Dr Salim Goudarzi & Dr David Milledge University of Newcastle, Protect-NFM

Numerical assessment of the impact of Natural Flood Management practices in head water blanket peatlands

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here.

This webinar will try to explore, using numerical modelling in conjunction with existing Before-After-Control-Intervention experimental data, the impact of NFM practices on catchment functions. For example, does re-vegetation reduce peak discharge primarily by increasing evapo-transpiration and thus reducing runoff generation; or by increasing roughness and thus attenuating overland flow? Does gully blocking reduce peak flow primarily by increasing the water available for evapo-transpiration or by reducing the flow velocity? Understanding how these changes work is desirable because it would: (1) condition our expectations for future interventions; (2) guide future decision making and implementation.

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here.

24 September 2020 12:30 – 13:30: Chris Uttley, Senior Advisor Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Environment Agency

The Environment Agency’s NFM work and view on NFM in Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS)

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here


Chris will talk about how NFM is currently being implemented by the Environment Agency with case studies including work at Stroud.  He will also talk about how the Agency sees NFM links and opportunities with the ELMS which will replace the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU subsidy scheme.   ELMs will support delivery of the DEFRA 25 year Environment Plan and will come into force in 2024.

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here

22 October 2020 12:30 – 1:30: Katharina Bauer, South East Rivers Trust

Monitoring infiltration and retention to support assessment of Ecosystem Services

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here

Images from South East Rivers Trust

Katharina will talk about the PROWATER project which is generally focused on building a structure for a Payments for Ecosystem Services scheme to implement ecosystem-based adaptation measures for water scarcity and create resilience to extreme weather events such as drought and flooding. The Trust is working on three pilot areas in Kent and East Sussex, two of them chalk aquifer catchments and one a (clay) surface water catchment. An important part of the work is the more conceptual element of creating a collective long-term vision on implementation of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) measures and a framework on which a ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ scheme can be made operational.

Sign up to join the webinar via Eventbrite here

19 November 2020 12:30 – 13:30: Dr Tom Nisbet, Forest Research, Landwise NFM

Woodlands and NFM

Tom will explain the Landwise research into woodlands and the impact they have on hydrology and NFM.

3 December 2020 Q-NFM  Dr Nick Chappel & Dr Trevor Page, University of Lancaster

Q-NFM: Quantifying the likely magnitude of nature-based flood mitigation effects across large catchments

Focusing on their research on three large Cumbrian catchments of the Kent, Derwent and Eden, but with experimental work elsewhere in the UK.

Cumbria Nick and Trevor will talk about  the quantification of the likely effectiveness of NFM measures for mitigating flood risk at small to large catchment scales. Their work is addressing gaps in the evidence on how individual NFM measures work and the reductions in peak flow for communities at risk of flooding.

The impact of a wide range of measures is being studied including agricultural interventions such as sward lifting and leaky bunds, hedgerow and wall restoration, leaky dams in peatland gullies and headwater channels, tree planting and floodplain reconnection.

21 January 2021 12:30 -13:30: Jon Hollis, Natural Flood Management Programme Manager, Environment Agency

What we’ve learned from the Defra £15 million NFM pilot programme

Jon will explain how the pilot programme is informing mainstreaming of NFM by the Environment Agency.

18 February 2021 12:30 – 13:30 Dr Will Maslanka,  Landwise NFM

Using remote sensing to measure soil moisture changes and NFM

Will will explain how remote sensing including the use of drones is being used to monitor NFM.

18 March 2021 12:30 – 13:30 Dr Maleki Badjana, Professor Anne Verhoef, Dr Steve Rose, Dr David MacDonald, Landwise NFM

Modelling NFM in lowland catchments 

This webinar will explore the application of a linked modelling approach to quantify the effectiveness of land-based NFM measures implemented across more permeable lowland catchments in the West Thames basin.  The NFM measures under particular investigation include: crop and soil management, woodland creation and leaky barrier implementation.  The linked modelling work has also evaluated how changing groundwater recharge dynamics, as a result of widespread NFM implementation, could influence the risk of groundwater flooding to vulnerable communities and river baseflow contributions.

15 April 2021 12:30 – 13:30, Professor Keith Morrison, Landwise

Improving Soil Moisture Estimation from Space Radar

Routine, in-service coarse mapping of soil moisture from space radar have been implemented at the catchment scale. This study seeks to extend it down to the field scale required for flood mapping utilizing the Sentinel satellites, validated by extensive field measurements.

21 May 2021 12:30 – 13:30 Dr Mark Wilkinson, James Hutton Institute

Catchment hydrology and NFM – details to be added

17 June 2021 12:30 -13:30 Dr James Blake, Landwise NFM

Measuring impact of land management on soil properties

James will present on the Landwise field survey results – specifically how different Natural Flood Management measures related to land use and land management affect soil physical and hydrological properties with implications for flood risk management. Survey sites have included a range of arable, permanent grassland and woodland land uses over chalk, limestone and mudstone geology. Farming practices included range from conventional to highly innovative.

23 September 2021 12:30 – 13:30  Professor Simon Dadson and Dr Marcus Buechel, University of Oxford

Natural flood risk management in the UK: the scientific evidence base

summary to be added

October 2021 (tbc) Prof Martin Evans & Dr Emma Shuttleworth, University of Manchester: Protect NFM 

The use of Empirical evidence in the Protect NFM research

summary to be added

18 November 2021 12:30 – 13:30 Professor Joanna Clark, Barbara Percy, Debbie Kite

Landwise Project Highlights

Overview of the findings and recommendations from the Landwise project including a web tool for visualisation.


Dr Stewart Clarke, National Trust

Natural Flood Management:  a land manager’s perspective

Originally scheduled for 11 June 2020, this webinar has had to be postponed as the speaker has been furloughed.  We hope to reschedule it soon.

As a major land owner with ambitions to restore nature and deliver public benefit, the National Trust has been engaged in natural flood management projects for a number of years. During this webinar we will explore the role of land managers in delivering NFM and describe the range of projects the National Trust is involved with from leaky dams to reintroducing beavers. We will also consider the place that NFM might have within wider flood risk management and also agri-environment schemes and how the National Trust is informing these debates.


If you would like to take part to share and discuss your work in NFM please get in touch with us at nfm@reading.ac.uk.   If you are signed up our newsletter we will also keep you posted on the webinar programme.  Watch this space for more information.