Project update – Resilient Glenderamackin

The Resilient Glenderamackin project is developing a model to link investors, buyers and sellers (farmers and land managers) of ecosystem services to reduce downstream flood risk, restore nature, improve water quality and mitigate against climate change in the Glenderamackin catchment in the Lake District. If successful, it will leverage around £10-12m public and private investment in nature-based solutions over five years. Crucially, this will include hosting payments for farmers over 12 years+ (payments for hosting the interventions).

 We caught up with the project team to find out the latest…

Since summer 2022, using Natural Environment Investment Readiness Funding, we’ve come a long way in developing this ambitious and complex catchment scale nature-based solutions project to solve a number of catchment issues. The project team, working with the local Environment Agency flood risk advisor, have been working to ensure that these nature-based solutions deliver the most for flood risk reduction amongst other ecosystem services.

Using Natural Course funding, we have been able to commission essential flood risk modelling from JBA Consulting to understand the impact of our proposals in the catchment. This has helped us answer the key question: how effective will the project be at reducing flood risk above Keswicks’ current standard of protection whilst factoring projected peak river flow increases due to climate change?

JBA Consultancy have produced a series of hydrograph analysers (effectively a series of graphs which collectively assess the cumulative impact of multiple interventions on the flood peak) and mapping layers that we can use to determine where these interventions are best located in the catchment to be most effective. Our proposed interventions include enhanced storage (e.g. the creation of temporary water storage areas), enhanced infiltration (e.g. improvements to soil infiltration) and enhanced roughness (e.g. key areas for tree planting).

We’ve fed these overall results into the projects’ financial model, and it will hopefully help us bring in key project funding whether through a consortium of buyers paying for that ecosystem service or using this modelling to apply for standalone grants such as the Environment Agency Natural Flood Management programme. Without the modelling to back up the project’s ambitious plans, we wouldn’t be able to attract the funding we need to deliver this huge project and crucially bring together land managers who will host these interventions.

JBA Consulting, using learning from this project, have also produced a report to enable the Rivers Trust and other local Rivers Trust’s to understand proportionate flood risk modelling for natural flood management projects across large catchments. A copy of this can be made available on request – email info@naturalcourse.co.uk

A group of people standing on grass discussing the project

Discussing ambitions for our Resilient Glenderamackin project at one of our spectacular multi-benefit NFM sites with national Defra. Stressing that we need a mechanism to blend public and private finance to deliver nature based solutions at scale.
Photo credit Clair Payne WCRT

Main photo: “One of the amazing multi-benefit water storage areas in the Glenderamackin – a place for wildlife, with additional water storage”  (c) Vikki Salas, WCRT