Working with Natural Processes

Working with Natural Processes (WwNP) means taking action to manage fluvial and coastal flood and coastal erosion risk by protecting, restoring and emulating the natural regulating function of catchments, rivers, floodplains and coasts. 

The WwNP cross-cutting research area identifies the research needed to enable us to undertake flood and coastal erosion risk management sustainably, improving the environment for people and wildlife. Research gaps and priority projects are set out in our research framework.

Projects in our research framework will be undertaken in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, to ensure that key outputs are easily accessed not just by flood risk management authorities but also other public bodies, academics, contractors and environmental non-governmental organisations.

Key research areas include:
  • WwNP Catchment Laboratories Projects – scoping study
  • Theme 1 - Sediment monitoring and modelling
  • Theme 2 - Communicating with stakeholders
  • Theme 3 – Hybrid/retrofit measures
  • Theme 4 - Catchment land use trials
  • Theme 5 - Woody debris 
  • National WwNP opportunity maps 
  • Modelling the effects of WwNP measures 
  • Cultural, institutional and procedural barriers to WwNP implementation 
  • A green engineering design guide and rating system
  • Guidance on how to design and implement WwNP measures on Capital projects
  • Integrating the delivery of river basin and flood risk management planning 
  • Assessing the costs and benefits of fish and eel screening measures
  • Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) – a mechanism for funding WwNP