Statement on Government’s response to House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee report on flooding

Reacting to the Government’s response to the EFRA committee report on flooding, Patrick Begg, Rural Enterprises Director at the National Trust, said: “Farming that helps reduce the risk of flooding for communities should be central to the government’s 25 year plan for the natural environment and any system of financial support for farmers post-Brexit.

“Natural flood management has proved its cost-effectiveness. With more frequent floods, we can’t afford to simply build bigger hard defences and pour more concrete.

“But if we want to scale these projects up and set them on a sustainable footing, we’ll need to create new ways for farmers to earn money from farming that cuts flooding, boosts wildlife and improves soils. As a landowner, we can and are playing our part in testing new approaches. But Defra’s 25 year plan for the environment coupled with a UK replacement for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy could deliver the scale of change needed.

“We hope that the Government will soon set out their proposals for both of these so that things can start to change on the ground.”

The National Trust gave written evidence to the select committee’s inquiry last year, welcoming the committee’s report published in November.

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