The Environment Agency must maintain habitat on riverbanks but also prevent flooding from silting up of riverbeds
Sir, It is as important to slow surface water runoff into watercourses as it is to maintain rivers to prevent flooding (letter, Sept 28). Various organisations are exploring ways to encourage farmers to block upland land drains and improve cultivation of low-lying farmland to increase the permeability of soils. This sits alongside the implementation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in built-up areas with the aim of reducing impermeable surfaces. The Environment Agency is caught in a conundrum of having to maintain biodiversity habitat on riverbanks, while preventing flooding from the silting-up of riverbeds.