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Issue 3: Flood Management

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  • Expected increase in the severity and frequency of flooding through climate change;
  • Costs of the impacts of flooding on infrastructure, property and land use;
  • Costs and potential downstream implications of hard engineering flood protection schemes;
  • Increased international recognition of the benefits of a catchment wide approach to flood risk management but lack of consensus on measures;
  • Wider, multiple benefits of natural flood management measures;
  • Broad opportunity areas for natural flood management identified at national level; and
  • Opportunity to trial and demonstrate the benefits of natural flood management on an international basis.

Annual maximum flow (AMAX) data for the River Spey at Grantown-on-Spey and River Dee at Polhollick, near Ballater



  • Reduced speed of water run-off from uplands;
  • Creation of more diverse ecological environments;
  • Integration of natural flood management techniques into other land management objectives;
  • Safeguard functional flood plain and avoid inappropriate development in areas of high flood risk; and
  • Effective flood defences where appropriate.


River catchment areas covering the Cairngorms National Park



  • Catchment partnerships and plans
  • River basin planning
  • Cairngorms Nature
  • Flood Risk Management Strategies and Plans
  • Development Plan
  • Scottish Rural Development Programme funding
  • Water Environment Fund

Indicative river flooding extent (medium probability 1 in 200 years) and Potentially Vulnerable Areas

Map showing river flooding

Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2016. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100040965 Cairngorms National Park Authority. Contains SEPA data © Scottish Environment Protection Agency anddatabase right 2016. All rights reserved.


  • What land use changes are needed to deliver more effective natural flood management and how can they be supported/funded?

  • How can catchment management partnerships be better used to help deliver natural flood management as part of flood risk management?

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