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Floodplain Meadows Partnership, winner of Ecover’s ‘Fertilise the Future Fund’

​​The OU-led Floodplain Meadows Partnership (FMP) has been crowned UK winner of Ecover’s ‘Fertilise the Future Fund. Beating over 700 other projects from across Europe, the team has secured a significant grant to restore 50 hectares of species-rich floodplain meadows along the River Thames. 

 Vicky Bowskill.This funding will enable the team and partners at Long Mead Wildlife Site and the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon Wildlife Trust to not only restore and protect floodplain meadows but to demonstrate how they can be used as a critical defence against climate change. 

What are floodplain meadows and why are they so important?

Floodplain meadows are grasslands that provide much-needed space for flood water to spread out. Their benefits are vast and in addition to mitigating flood risks, they improve water quality, increase carbon storage, support sustainable farming and are home to a diverse range of species. 

As part of the three-year project, the team will build on their existing research into carbon sequestration with the aim of proving that floodplain meadows are a more effective, reliable and longer-term carbon store than other habitats. This evidence could then demonstrate why these rare habitats are just as important as trees and peat as a nature-based solution to climate change. 

Speaking of the news, David Gowing, Professor of Botany in EEES and Project Director of the Floodplain Meadows Partnership said: 

“We are delighted to have received Ecover’s support to continue the Floodplain Meadows Partnership’s work and deliver this important restoration with partners. With the risk of flooding only increasing due to global warming, it has never been more important to protect and restore floodplain meadows to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

“Floodplain meadows stretch back a thousand years and were once the backbone of the rural economy in England. Now over 97% of these habitats have been lost. With Ecover and our partners, we will provide evidence of the value of functioning meadows and continue advocating for floodplain restoration as a vital tool in tackling the climate emergency.”

You can learn more about the project on Floodplain Meadows Partnership's website.

 

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