Update 15th June

As you will be aware, the first Highways England Natural flood management (NFM) pilot bidding round closed on Monday,14 June. The response has been absolutely phenomenal with more than a million pounds of submissions against a forecasted target of around £335,000 across our three pilot catchments (the Little Don, the Etherow and the Irwell).

Firstly, we want to say thank you to everyone who has provided submissions. Thanks for working with our partners the Mersey and Don rivers trusts and for bearing with us as we piloted this new system. Your feedback will help us make the next auction round simpler and easier to use.

Over the next few weeks we will be undertaking a panel review with our catchment partners to understand the submissions and identify the measures which are best aligned to our outcomes of reducing flood risk to our network.

During and following this, we will be in touch directly with submission specific queries and subsequently also to confirm which submissions have been successful in this round of auction.

Given the number of submissions and our total available pilot budget for all three catchments, we will not be able to support all applications. We realise this will be disappointing for some but we will be running a second auction later this year and also hope to be able to point unsuccessful applicants in the direction of other suitable funding schemes.

Once again, thank you for the overwhelming response. It’s fantastic you share our enthusiasm for nature based solutions.

Welcome to the Natural Flood Management (NFM) Fund bidding platform (NatureBid). This scheme has been set up to support farmers and landowners in the implementation of measures that work with natural processes to reduce flood risk to the major road network ("A" roads and motorways).

The bidding platform is open from the 24th May – 14th June

NFM is an emerging approach to addressing flood risk. NFM measures slow or store water in the landscape by emulating or enhancing natural processes. Every landowner is likely to be able to contribute to natural flood risk management, irrespective of location within the catchment, and therefore can play an important role in reducing flooding in downstream areas.

The Fund is hosted by the Rivers Trusts. Your first point of contact is a Rivers Trust local Catchment Advisor who is available to support you with all aspects of the Fund, from application to implementation and maintenance of measures.

The Fund is being financed by Highways England, as part of £936M of designated funding made available over the next five years to deliver lasting benefits to the environment and communities. It is a pilot to explore how Highways England can work with farmers and landowners to reduce flood risk on sections of the strategic road network known to be particularly vulnerable to flooding.

Should you decide to make an application to the NFM Fund, you can bid for as many or as few measures as you like on the bidding page. Bids are made for individual measures. The intervention types specifically being promoted by the Fund are:

  • Land Use Management (LM)
  • Overland Flow Route and Field Corner Measures (FR)
  • Watercourse Measures (WC)

Each intervention type includes a range of NFM measures you can apply for which are summarised in the Measures page. You are not restricted to just bidding to implement the measures listed in the Measures Booklet. We welcome costed proposals for alternative NFM Measures. You can submit these alternative innovations as part of your bid; Landowner Innovation measures will be limited to 10% of the HE NFM Fund value.

Pilot catchment
Focus areas

Key Information

Key information you may need to access to submit a bid is found here. It is advised to read the “how to” guide before commencing.

NFM Fund Handbook NFM Measures Booklet Design Specification Catalogue Step by step guide Terms and Conditions Highways England NFM Fund homepage