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Pilot Scheme to Help Landowners Manage Flood Risk

The Environment Secretary has announced a new pilot scheme to help landowners manage the risk of flooding while also protecting the environment.  This will give farmers, landowners, community and environmental groups an opportunity to be involved in decisions around the future of river and flood defence maintenance in their area. The scheme looks to reduce red tape in the pilot areas to make it easier for farmers and landowners to maintain their rivers themselves where they choose to do so.  Current rules can put off farmers who want to manage their own watercourses.

The pilots will change the way in which the Environment Agency regulate desilting work and will take place from 21 October 2013 for one year. All maintenance work undertaken in the pilot areas will need to comply with environmental legislation, the Regulatory Position Statement and follow the Environmental Good Practice Guidance.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said:

“I want to make it as simple as possible for landowners and farmers to carry out work to protect their land.

Watercourse maintenance can reduce the risk of flooding, enhance the environment and improve water quality. These pilots will make sure that people who want to carry out this kind of work can do so without getting tied up in red tape.”

Environment Agency staff in each pilot area will be on hand to provide advice.

The pilots will cover seven areas:

More information is available on the Environment Agency’s website or contact the Environment Agency National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506.

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