Natural Flood Management

Natural Flood Management


The Calder Valley is renowned for its flooding.

Upland flooding

Slow the flow to valley bottom.

Focus on Implementation and Maintenance


Earth Care – Use sustainable materials, sourced on site, working with sensitive habitats, minimal disruption.

People Care – Using local organisations, keeping money in local economy

Future Care – Opening as a demonstration site, involving students, sharing case study, Regenerative and sustainable practices

Principles used to guide design

Design Framework – GoSADIM

Goal, Survey, Analysis, Decision, Implementation, Maintenance


Myself – a personal project


November 2022 –

Tools Used

Resources Used

  • Benjamin Fenton – Calderdale Council, Flood Risk Management Team
  • The Permaculture Earthworks Handbook – Douglas Barnes

Link to ALP & my personal objectives

I really want to improve my drawing skills, creating clear but colourful plans. This small scale design will enable me to be creative and practice these skills. I will be able to better understand how planting plans are created.


To create a plan to manage the flow of flood water using materials found onsite and without damaging fragile eco-systems and creating opportunities for creating different habitats.


The below videos shows a flood event (apologies for the dodgy videography). The water comes from springs and overflowing field drains on land above ours. It happens only once or twice a year, but the amount of water threatens to overload the large pond. This isn’t the worst it has been, but gives a good indication of the ‘average’ flood event.

There is a drain that flows under the field, and comes out into the open at the bottom of the slope.

It runs as a stream through the woods at the bottom before exiting into a drain under the neighbours field. The force of the water has caused deep erosion.

Over a few years I have observed the water. Maps below show the areas most affected and the flow of water.



I looked at different options open to me to slow the flow of water;


Identify habitats that need protection,

Identify resources on site

Check against Principles – Mollison

Work with nature rather than against it

The problem is the solution

Make the least change for the greatest possible effect

The yield of the system is theoretically unlimited

Everything gardens


Stacking Functions?


Time Frames

Apply for Grant

Site Visits

Contractors –

Timescale restrictions – climate/seasonal

Who does what and when? Gannt Chart