Multifunctional landscapes – flood protection

Flood management can be positively or negatively affected by the ways in which we use land. Certain agricultural practices can result in greater levels of run-off from fields into rivers during high rainfall, such as soil erosion and compaction caused by livestock trampling or tilling for crops.

Some land management practices, such as mixed woodland creation or buffers along riverbanks can result in positive outcomes for water quality, as the tree roots help to maintain soil integrity and maintain the water table. These types of land management can have additional benefits for other needs we have of land such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration, recreation and improving water quality.

The Royal Society’s Multifunctional Landscapes report advises on the use of science to increase the productivity of land and makes recommendations on the data, innovation, skills and policy required to create landscapes which meet society’s many needs efficiently and sustainably.