SINCE the re-wilding of Ennerdale in 2003 (a partnership between Natural England, the Forestry Commission, the National Trust and United Utilities), the floods have not devastated that area, so why can’t this be addressed to other parts of the Lake District and save villages in the south of the Lakes?

Flooding costs the UK more than one billion pounds a year.

The evidence both here in the UK and abroad is incontrovertible; naturalising rivers and re-wilding catchment areas prevents flooding.

It is cheaper, safer and more resilient than engineering hard flood defences. With it comes the benefits in terms of water purification, soil restoration, drought resistance and wildlife.

While countries like the Netherlands, Germany and China are giving money and land to re-naturalising their rivers and wetlands, we continue to allocate the bulk of our grant money for flood defences to conventional, large-scale, hard engineering schemes.

In Pickering, where the authorities wanted to build a £20 million concrete wall in the town to keep the water in the river, a community-based project based on the same principles of naturalistic flood management was put in place instead, and the resulting action saved the town from flooding. The total cost was around two million pounds, about a tenth of the original cost of building the concrete wall.

The information I have given can be found in more detail in ‘Wilding, The return of nature to a British Farm’ by Isabella Tree.

I hope more research is done regarding the flood defences in Kendal before the trees are cut down unnecessarily.

Mrs B. A. Halldearn