Working for nature

ADA has a long history of working with our members and conservation bodies to integrate the enhancement and conservation of wildlife with water level and flood risk management. Here you can find a series of guides and documents that ADA and our members have been involved with.

Useful Guides

This Manual was published by ADA and Natural England in 2008 with the aim of encouraging practices that conserve and enhance wildlife within drainage channels while delivering a standard of maintenance appropriate to the water level and flood risk management needs of the area. The Manual captures techniques that are being applied by some Internal Drainage Boards for the benefit of wildlife, and to bring them to the attention of a wider audience. The techniques described should be just as useful for other organisations undertaking flood risk and water level management activities.

Water has always been at the heart of the Fens. Its management is vital to the life and livelihoods of the communities that live there. This Guide and accompanying Introduction was published in 2017 to help identify mitigation measures for water level managers to improve Fenland watercourses towards achieving Good Ecological Potential under the Water Framework Directive. They take account of the special nature of Fenland watercourses containing slow-flowing water, usually contained behind sluices and pumping stations. Written as a collaboration between ADA, the Environment Agency, IDBs, and Cambridgeshire ACRE.

This Manual has been written as a guide to carrying out the actions and the management of the waterways within the Middle Level of the Cambridgeshire Fens for the benefit of wildlife. It has been written by Cliff Carson, the Environmental Officer of the Middle Level Commissioners and includes many photographs of local examples of beneficial actions that have been carried out at little cost and without inhibiting the primary function of water management. The Manual's appendices provide details of how to carry out specific actions and where to find further useful information.

The Environment Committee of the ADA Lincolnshire Branch has developed this Manual to help Branch members who are looking to implement effective, low cost environmental enhancements to fulfill their Biodiversity Action Plan targets. The ideas within could equally be implemented by other flood risk management authorities. The guide includes a range of techniques and ideas from channel maintenance to actions for specific species. This is a working document and will benefit from the addition of new examples over time.

Further guidance and tools

Biodiversity Action Plans

ADA worked with Natural England in 2010 to produce guidance and a template to assist Internal Drainage Boards with the production of their own Biodiversity Action Plans, which demonstrate their commitment to conserve biodiversity within their district. Revised and updated guidance and a new template were published in November 2020.

Channel Management Handbook

A handbook promoting good practice in channel management has been developed for flood risk management authorities. The handbook brings together over ten years’ worth of research and practice in channel management with the aim of improving the process of deciding when and how to carry out channel management for flood risk and land drainage purposes.

You can download the handbook from the GOV.UK website HERE

Species Action Plans

Wildlife Conservation Partnership has written two species action plans for inclusion within Internal Drainage Board Biodiversity Action Plans.

RRC Manual of River Restoration Techniques

The River Restoration Centre (RRC) Manual of River Restoration Techniques aims to help river managers identify potential restoration techniques for use in river restoration and sustainable river management.

You can find out more about the RRC and the Manual at: www.rrc.co.uk

Aquatic & Riparian Plant Management Guide

This suite of documents have been created by the Environment Agency, with the help of ADA and other water management organisations, to provide guidance on identifying what management techniques are best suited for controlling vegetation in any given watercourse. You can download these documents and tools from the GOV.UK website HERE

Biosecurity Policy & Procedures for IDBs

ADA has developed a template for a biosecurity policy and set of procedures to help internal drainage boards, in pursuance of their routine operations, to control and prevent the spread of invasive non-native species.

Further information about invasive non-native species and biosecurity is available from the Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Sea Wall Biodiversity Manual

A handbook on the ecology of sea walls; any vegetated flood defence embankment or retaining wall present along the open coast or tidal waters. It provides guidance on vegetation management techniques available to help conserve and enhance their biodiversity value, whilst continuing to perform their primary flood defence purpose. The manual covers a suite of best practice guides on specific habitats and species. Download the Manual here.