Enfield: New woodland created by council to reduce risk of flooding

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The project is part of the borough’s natural flood management initiative which has seen Enfield restore local biodiversity and river habitats to defend homes and buildings from being damaged by flooding.

A new woodland has been created on an area that was previously grasslands to help reduce the risk of flooding in north London.

The Enfield Chase Woodland Creation area covers 80 hectares of land, the equivalent of more than 100 football pitches and uses natural solutions to prevent flooding.

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The woodland area, created by Enfield Council includes ponds fitted with sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), which encourage a natural water filtering process and reduces the amount of plastic in the ground, replacing it with more porous materials.

This allows the soil to soak up and hold more water, reducing the risk of surface water flooding and protecting hundreds of peoples’ homes in the neighbourhoods located in downstream urban areas, such as Edmonton.

Enfield woodland saplingsEnfield woodland saplings
Enfield woodland saplings | Credit: London Councils

The project is part of the borough’s natural flood management initiative which has seen Enfield restore local biodiversity and river habitats to defend homes and buildings from being damaged by flooding.

Enfield has also recently seen the introduction of beavers who have created beaver dams across flood prone rivers. As part of the Council’s Climate Action Plan and Blue and Green Strategy, they are also trialling the use of cattle grazing to manage the land to support flood reduction.

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In July 2021, London experienced intense rainstorms that overwhelmed drainage systems and led to extensive surface water and sewer flooding, affecting homes, businesses, hospitals and the transport network.

London boroughs have responded with flood alleviation measures, ranging from establishing rain gardens to absorb rainwater, creating climate resilient schools while transforming school playgrounds to improve their resilience to flooding and heat stress, and removing paving from streets where possible to creating new wetlands.

Cllr Rick Jewell, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, said:“Enfield is committed to finding proactive solutions to be ready for flooding challenges when they arise in the borough. The rewilding flood management project will bolster the natural wetland ecosystem not only providing flood defences but encouraging local biodiversity to grow and thrive.

“The impacts of climate change are being felt across the capital, with severe weather events becoming more frequent. Projects such as Enfield’s natural flood management have allowed us to mitigate the impacts of such extreme flooding when it does occur, and we are working to reduce the effect on our residents. We are innovating to trial new approaches to managing flooding, all while creating green spaces within the borough for our communities to enjoy.”

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