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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-23835

  • Asked by: Maurice Golden, MSP for North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 12 December 2023
  • Current status: Answered by Mairi McAllan on 9 January 2024


To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-23294 by Mairi McAllan on 11 December 2023, how many natural flood management schemes are currently operating across Scotland.


The Scottish Government recognizes the importance of natural flood management (NFM) measures in reducing, slowing or otherwise managing flood waters across catchments and along the coast while also delivering multiple environmental benefits. The Scottish Government provides funding to improve and restore catchment processes including hydrological processes through the Water Environment Fund, Peatland Restoration Fund, Nature Restoration Fund and Forestry Grants scheme.

The Scottish Government does not hold the information on the total number of NFM schemes currently operating across Scotland. The Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 recognises the important role of, promotes and encourages the use of NFM techniques, however, the responsibility for the development and delivery of flood protection schemes rests with individual local authorities, who are best placed to respond to local resilience needs. The Scottish Government provides funding to local authorities to facilitate this.

Effective catchment management requires all of Scotland's land owners and land managers to play their part. As such, individual landowners may decide to operate their own NFM schemes, and there is no requirement for them to notify Ministers of such activity. However, we encourage everyone operating a scheme and interested in this field to join the Scottish Government funded NFM Network Scotland which has been set up to share knowledge and best practice amongst those working with NFM projects, research or activities.