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Communities have the power to tackle climate change. What if:

  • Our environment was full of nature and ready to cope with climate change?
  • Every community had the skills and resources to build our own climate solutions and reduce their flood risk and bounce back stronger?
  • We dared to work together; communities alongside organisations, flood specialists, and government?

Partnerships and collaboration are vital

When it comes to the impact of climate change it is the community who are best placed to know and understand what is happening in the local area. It is the local community who feel the impact of flash floods and other weather events like last year’s record breaking high temperatures. And it’s the community who can best shape the right solutions for positive action on the climate.

We are harnessing the collective power of local community, organisations, specialists, and government. We are creating space for discussion, learning, and sharing. The more we work and plan together, the more we can achieve together for the places we live.

Community BlueScapes is a partnership between Barnes Common Limited, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.


The partnership has been awarded £6 million of funding by Defra as part of the £200 million Flood and Coastal Innovation Programmes which is managed by the Environment Agency. The programmes will drive innovation in flood and coastal resilience and adaptation to a changing climate.

We were awarded the funding because of our proposal to work closely with local people in the Beverley Brook catchment and to find new ways of doing things.

Our areas of focus

Prepared communities

We are joining forces with local communities, organisations and specialists to increase our knowledge, and sharing skills and talents. Together we will make our places work better for us, and prepare for extreme weather events like flooding.

We’ve been meeting with community leads on the Castelnau Estate in North Barnes and the Alton Estate in Roehampton to better understand some of the challenges that people there experience and to explore opportunities to work collaboratively.

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Healthy landscapes

We will be creating and changing green spaces, such as parks, grasslands, and recreational areas, and blue spaces, such as rivers, ponds and other bodies of water. By doing this the landscape can cope better with flooding. There are lots of other benefits too. From improving the water quality in the brook to boosting biodiversity. New and improved spaces also offer opportunities to better our wellbeing and health.

We are looking into some schemes across the area. We are in the early stages of talking with interested parties for these in Palewell Common, Barnes Green, Barnes Common, Richmond Park, Vine Road Recreation Ground, and Leg O' Mutton. We will share more details and ways to get involved as these opportunities develop.

We have started installing some small Sustainable Drainage Systems in three locations. They manage the rain at the point it hits the ground or roof, slow the flow of water and clean it up along the way. They will help build our evidence and reduce highway flooding issues.

Browse our latest events and updates.

Use new methods and ideas

The community will shape and create the project. Starting from understanding the local challenges, we will guide the exploration into solutions. Although specialists will support us, we will search for unconventional approaches. We want to find new ways to measure how successful the project is too. Local people and groups will be able to get involved in recording and measuring. Then we can share the best with other communities facing similar challenges.

  • We’ll be inviting the community to support us in monitoring and evaluating the project. We will gather evidence to support future projects in the area and across the country.
  • We are focusing on natural solutions to flooding. By restoring a more natural environment we will slow the flow of water through the landscape. We will use that water to create more urban green and blue spaces that protect us from flooding.

Explore different ways you can prepare your property for flooding.

Updated: 28 March 2024

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