Want to help us understand the potential for woodlands to reduce flooding?

After the heavy rains and flood damage of last winter, the need to protect communities from flooding has never been more important. Natural Flood Management – using the natural capacity of rivers, wetlands and woodlands to reduce downstream flood risk – has become a buzzword.  But there are still major gaps in our understanding of how the natural world can be harnessed to help reduce flooding.

Wet woodland at Bryngarw Country Park

The University of Leeds, with support from UBoC, is taking a leading role in the effort to better understand the potential of Natural Flood Management. The University hosts water@leeds –  one of the largest interdisciplinary centres for water research in any university in the world – making it the ideal location to lead research efforts.

Three new PhDs  students will start next October to explore the role of different land-management options to reduce flooding. 

At UBoC, we are particularly interested in the role of woodlands in reducing flood risk. So UBoC is part-funding one PhD studentship (deadline for applications 31st January 2017) to further understand the potential for woodlands to reduce flooding:


Another studentship (deadline 2nd January) will explore the potential for peatland restoration to reduce flooding:


A third studentship (deadline 9th January) will focus specifically on how management of vegetation on organo-mineral soils influences flooding:


At the same time, the University is also leading the Yorkshire iCASP project, a £6 million project to help join up efforts to improve water quality, resilience to floods and droughts, carbon storage and biodiversity.

This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to our understanding of woodlands, and how natural processes can be enhanced while flooding events are reduced. The deadlines are tight, but there’s still time to prepare applications for the New Year, and we look forward to welcoming you to the UBoC team.