A team of researchers from Queen Mary University of London, University of Sussex, Environment Agency, National Trust, Rewilding Britain, and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has conducted a comprehensive analysis of over 100 published studies to assess the effectiveness of rewilding in mitigating floods and droughts. The research, funded by UKRI through the NERC/ESRC Synthesising Evidence in Economics of Biodiversity Programme, has identified that rewilding could reduce flood magnitudes. However, the impacts on low-flow situations are more complex and warrant caution due to limited studies. The study also identified a notable gap in studying scrubland habitats, limiting existing studies’ predictive capacity to understand hydrological responses. The researchers have emphasised the need for ongoing monitoring and analysis of rewilding’s impact on water flows in river catchments, considering both floods and droughts, to make informed decisions and implement rewilding initiatives effectively. The full research paper, The Role of Rewilding in Mitigating Hydrological Extremes: State of the Evidence, is open access and available online from the Journal of Systematic Review.


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