Flood management techniques for Inishowen

May 2019 – Prof. Mary Bourke and her #Megafloods team are currently conducting a study on natural water retention measures (also known as natural flood management) on behalf of the Inishowen Rivers Trust to investigate the suitability of the Inishowen landscape for such measures. In a recent visit Prof. Bourke was joined by Dr. Paul Quinn from Newcastle University, an expert in NFM with extensive experience of implementing projects across England.  Mary and Paul gave two excellent presentations to a diverse audience in the Sliabh Sneacht Centre on Tuesday May 28th 2019 and this was followed by a chance to discuss farming and flooding with local landowners. Copies of the presentations given on the night are available on our Downloads page.

On Wednesday and Thursday the IRT travelled around Inishowen with Prof Bourke, Dr. Quinn and two students identifying the sources of streams and examining areas where it may be possible to ‘slow the flow’. Simple measures that hold back flood waters for 12-24 hours have been shown to reduce and alleviate flooding in small to medium sized catchments. These measures are cheap and easy to install and have multiple benefits in terms of water quality, improvements to biodiversity, control of sediment loss, nutrient run-off, etc. The study entitled “Natural Water Retention Measures in Inishowen – Community Engagement and Development of Strategic Plan” is due to be completed at the end of June 2019. After this time the IRT will be releasing details of the findings in the report and hope to use this information to seek further funding to implement pilot measures in conjunction with landowner agreement.

Many thanks to all the landowners and local community members who attended the talks and took the time to speak to the team on our travels during June. Thanks also to the OPW who have funded this work.

Prof. Bourke presenting information to the local community at the Sliabh Sneacht Centre, with a chance to chat afterwards.