The team hopes the initiative will ‘make a real difference’ to communities in Gloucestershire

RSA Insurance has entered into a two-year partnership with charity Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) to help reduce flood risk in hotspots.

The deal will see RSA initially invest £400,000 to help limit the impact of flooding on local habitats and improve the resilience of local communities, a statement said today (19 April 2023)

The insurer said it identified Cheltenham and Gloucester as two areas that had some of the most acute flood risk – as a result, it will roll out natural flood management (NFM) solutions to help reduce risk in these areas.

RSA and GWT also engaged with the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council to identify areas for intervention where the risk was likely to be most significant.

Laura Spiers, head of UK and Ireland social impact and environmental, social and governance (ESG) at RSA, said: ”Helping to build more resilient communities and support people to adapt to the effects of climate change is a key part of RSA’s social impact strategy, which is why I’m delighted to announce our new partnership with GWT.

”Our comprehensive two-year programme of natural flood management solutions will make a real difference to local communities in Cheltenham and Gloucester and I’m excited to see how it might help to influence the spread of other nature-based solutions across the country.”

Climate teamwork

The programme is made up of three interventions, which were designed to reduce flooding and enable the environment and local communities to be more resilient to its impacts.

These include showcasing NFM interventions in and upstream of Gloucester and Cheltenham, developing nature and water highways through nature-depleted and high deprivation areas in England and installing community sustainable urban drainage schemes.

RSA and GWT will also visit local schools and communities to provide advice on natural preventative measures to flood risk.

”By committing to a two-year project plan, RSA and GWT allow time to build community relationships to affect real change,” a statement said.

Roger Mortlock, chief executive of GWT, said: “Nature has a huge role to play in helping us tackle the impacts of climate change, including flooding.

”We are no strangers to the impact of flooding in Gloucestershire – that’s why we are delighted to be working with the RSA to demonstrate the role that nature can play.

”This is a project where both nature and people benefit, building more resilient places where communities can enjoy a closer relationship with nature.”