Funding for landowners

in the River Aire valley

Funded natural flood management (NFM) interventions are now available to landowners via the White Rose Forest as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

If you own land within the River Aire catchment boundary and would like to explore opportunities to improve it with tree planting and other NFM interventions we’ll be happy to plan it, design it, deliver it and pay for it.

River Aire path

Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency developed this pioneering scheme following the 2015 flood event, where almost 5,000 properties in the Aire catchment were badly affected by widespread flooding, caused by some of the highest river levels ever recorded.

It is currently the UK’s largest natural flood management implementation scheme and aims to use natural processes to slow the flow and build a more resilient river catchment that can respond better to extreme weather.

Working with experts from the White Rose Forest partnership, the scheme is appealing to landowners to allow access to their land for tree planting, land management and a range of other NFM measures.

With input from the landowner we’ll take care of the design. We’ll complete any applications or paperwork and even secure funding for each project. We’ll also deliver the NFM project for the landowner. All we need is permission from the landowner to use their land.



Why and Where?

The project focuses on using natural methods to slow the flow of surface water by disrupting its direction of travel or temporarily holding it in higher parts of the catchment, then gently releasing it so that lower areas are not overwhelmed by flood water.

By delivering this scale of natural flood management, the scheme will also provide several wider environmental and social benefits, such as:

  • increasing biodiversity, tree canopy cover and new habitats for wildlife
  • capturing and storing carbon
  • increasing awareness and the implementation of effective land management
  • helping to regenerate rural and urban areas
  • improving water quality.
Aire Catchment map

Landowner engagement team

The landowner engagement team is made up of experienced representatives from the White Rose Forest partnership who are experts in woodland creation and natural flood management. Find out more about each member of the team below.




Ian Butterfield

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The Aire Rivers Trust

Aire Rivers Trust

Nick Milsom

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Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Suzie Knight

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Craven District Council

Craven District Council

Michael Gane

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Mark Knight

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Bradford Environmental Action Trust

BEAT (Bradford Environmental Action Trust)

Jacob Silver

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Contact us about this project

If you would like to find out more information about the River Aire catchment NFM project, or would like to request a landowner engagement partner to visit and discuss your site’s potential, please use the ‘contact us’ form.

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