Funding amount:

Project description:

Flooding is devastating for homes, businesses and key infrastructure. River catchment management plays a role in the severity of these floods. We all have a role to play in soil and water management. The SWIM project aims to develop a new technique for managing flooding by using natural capital at a catchment scale to reduce downstream flood peaks. 

What will the project achieve?

By engaging volunteers and communities, the project had multiple benefits. E.g. best practice advice on hedge planting for agriculture students, active volunteering, increased biodiversity and reduced pollution leading to improved water quality. 

Solutions on farms were win-win for the environment and the business, reducing run off-of soil and nutrients. Capital works in the catchment will be undertaken under the Cain and Nant Alan and the WISE Sustainable Management Scheme projects.  

Who are the project beneficiaries?

Small catchments within the Severn Uplands (Montgomeryshire).


Where precipitation hits a river catchment, a great proportion of it ends up in the river, taking with it any pollution on the land. How quickly this water gets to our rivers and the severity of the impact depends on the land management. For example, soil compaction, reduction in tree and hedgerow cover, area of cover crop will increase the impact of flooding.  


Natural capital such as tree cover, well maintained soils etc. can reduce the impact of downstream flooding. By modelling natural capital we can identify the areas where the most cost effective interventions can take place. By engaging local communities e.g. setting up local flood action groups and by having two-way discussions with landowners, local people were able to lead the discussion and contribute by identifying the areas where natural capital can be improved on the ground.  This project has enabled Severn Rivers Trust to bid for future funding to undertake capital works to reduce flooding.  


By determining the best locations for natural flood management techniques e.g. hedge planting using modelling, the impact was good value for money and had multiple benefits. By setting up networks (flood action groups) and working in partnership with the National Flood Forum, we were able reduce overland flow of flood water into the upper Severn.

By engaging landowners in discussion which benefitted the farm business as well as the river catchment, we were able to get farmers to support the project in a sustainable way. By combining community engagement with modelling, we were able to ground truth potential improvements.  

What was the result of your project?

The Feasibility Study has shown that ownership cannot be established without a lot of legal work. A ‘Friends of Rodney’s Pillar Group could be formed which could fundraise for the money needed.

Project Outputs/Outcomes

Output (Case Level Indicator)


No. of feasibility studies 4
No. of networks established 4
No. of jobs safeguarded 1
No. Of pilot activities undertaken / supported 0
No. of community hubs created 0
No. of stakeholders engaged 61
No. of participants supported (awareness raising events only) 96



No. of jobs created 0
No. of communities benefitting 3
No. of businesses benefitting 9


Further project information:

Mike Morris
Telephone number:
07970 451601
Email project contact