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Restoration of Dorset wetlands has helped stop flooding on roads

Previously a dry arable field which has been rewilded

Posted on January 17, 2024

A Dorset rewilding project has helped to reduce flooding in nearby areas.

Wild Woodbury is a rewilding project in Bere Regis run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, which in recent years has encouraged the establishment of wetlands and the restoration of natural hydrology.

This has been achieved by breaking up some of the land drains in the area and by filling in ditches in order to retain water at the site.

According to the Dorset Wildlife Trust, there are roads near the project site that always used to flood following any amount of rain, but which haven’t flooded at all since the restoration.

There have also been huge decreases in the amount of sediment in the water running off the land, meaning the local rivers are becoming less polluted with topsoil.

Sara King, Rewilding Manager for Rewilding Britain, said: “Rewilding can be a major factor in helping mitigate localised flooding, as has been clearly demonstrated at this superb rewilding project. Restoring landscapes that, before being altered by practices like intensive agriculture or development, can hold large amounts of water as part of a flourishing ecosystem helps slow the flow of water into and through communities.

“Rewilding interventions like river restoration – which in some instances can include introducing those amazing ecosystem engineers, beavers – and natural regeneration of woodland can also significantly reduce flooding, soil erosion and water pollution.

“Working with nature like Dorset Wildlife Trust have done at Wild Woodbury reveals so many benefits not just for nature and wildlife but for people and communities too.”

The once dry and arable field in Bere Regis has now become the home to a variety of wetland species such as Snipe and Lapwing.


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