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Parkland trees in a flooded landscape.

The Forest Hydrology programme involves a number of collaborative studies of the effects of forestry on flood flows. These include long-term studies of the hydrological effects of upland conifer forests in research catchments at Coalburn in north England and Balquhidder in mid-Scotland.

The results indicate that while some forestry practices and phases of forest growth affect peak flows within small headwater catchments, the impacts diminish at the larger catchment scale.

Research objectives

Forests the world over, have long been associated with helping to reduce flooding. Most flooding disasters have been partly blamed on the effects of deforestation.

The impacts of rural land use and management on flood generation were reviewed by a research consortium for Defra. 


FAO UN review of Forests and flooding

PDF, 0.08 MB

Global review of the role of forestry in flooding

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Huw Thomas

Project Manager, Hydrologist

Forestry Staff Tom Nisbet Cropped 2.391c9c68.fill 600x600 1
Tom Nisbet

Science Group Leader