This paper reviews selected floodplain restoration projects in the UK that have generated data for flood peak reduction and/or, water quality benefits and ecological improvement. The objective was to examine their effectiveness, both in terms of environmental improvement and the decision making of the planning and stakeholder groups that led to their implementation. For riparian zone reforestation, modelling shows that benefits from flood risk reduction are obtained at large scales due mainly to increases in floodplain surface roughness. However, little conclusive proof has been uncovered for benefits, solely in terms of flood risk reduction, on smaller scales. Alternative benefits such as diffuse pollution reduction, with benefits for ecological status targets, often provide better rationales at such scales. Success is realised when the multiple benefits of restoration programmes are clearly communicated and key stakeholders and landowners involved from the planning stage.
- Land use
- Adaptive management