Holnicote Project

  • Holnicote lower bund @ Nigel Hester
    Holnicote lower bund @ Nigel Hester
Case Study Information
Sustainable flood management through whole catchment working
Progress so far: 

The project is undertaking land management measures in four key areas: the upland areas at the headwaters, steep transitional valleys feeding down from the upland areas; the lowland meadows; and the associated agricultural landscapes.

These measures aim at holding rainfall runoff in the landscape at strategic sites so that it is released more naturally into the river systems. In 2014, the Environment Agency published a report that evaluated how interventions designed to improve water quality (such as the blocking of ditches in upland areas) had achieved their objective.

Challenges and lessons learned: 

This catchment is typical of approximately 30% of the area of England and Wales, so lessons learned may be transferable to similar sites elsewhere.

Further Information

The project lead is the National Trust. Partners are the Environment Agency, Penny Anderson Associates and JBA/Maslen, the University of Exeter (water quality research), Cranfield University (initial ecosystems research), Wessex Water, Somerset County Council, Exmoor National Park Authority and Natural England.

The Holnicote estate is also the site of a Defra-sponsored payments for ecosystem services pilot project.

Further information
Contact name 

Nigel Hester at the National Trust.

Location map: