Back to guidance

CIRIA Natural flood management manual


This manual is a definitive guide to natural flood management. It is divided into five parts:
Part A provides an overview of natural flood management and a high-level checklist of the steps to deliver it.
Part B describes the philosophy of NFM and the first part of the delivery process – how to set up a project for success and choose appropriate NFM sites and measures.
Part C gives more detailed information on a range of inland NFM measures. There are 12 measures covered in the manual and of these four are covered in a greater depth – runoff management, runoff storage, leaky barriers, floodplain reconnection. The others are given a short overview with signposts to further detail.
Part D provides detailed information on the NFM delivery process
Appendices provide supporting information, including case studies and worked examples.

This manual is aimed at lead local flood authorities, Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Boards, water and sewerage companies, National Highways, Forestry Commission, landowners and land managers, Rivers Trusts and other relevant NGOs, relevant local community groups, catchment partnerships, occupiers and tenants, universities and research organisations. It was freely available to download from the CIRIA website until Jan 2024, though they are now planning to charge £25.


Guidance type/project stage

  • Ecosystem creation
  • Implementation
  • Ecosystem management
  • Planning


  • Freshwater
  • Farmland
  • Hedgerows
  • Ponds
  • Rivers
  • Wetland
  • Woodland

Challenges addressed

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Biodiversity
  • Health, wellbeing & cultural value
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Natural flood management
  • Water quality

Source | CIRIA

Visit source website