Defra said environmental resources can play a vital role in managing flood risk

The UK government is to invest £500,000 in land management programmes, such as the restoration of wetlands and woodlands, to reduce the risk of flooding.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said the money would fund up to two pilot projects.

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said land management practices can play a vital role in managing flood risk at a local level and in some cases remove the risk of local flooding altogether.

These practices also produce wider environmental benefits at a local level, including encouraging an increase in wildlife species and habitats, reducing carbon emissions and improving water quality.

Announcing the funding at the Royal Show in Warwickshire, Hilary Benn said: ‘Sir Michael Pitt's recent report on the floods highlighted how traditional flood defences are not always appropriate or cost effective, so we must generate a range of sustainable approaches to protect people and property.’

‘We can never fully eliminate the risk of flooding, but we are working to ensure that we are better prepared to deal with future events.’