Achieving sustainable flood-risk management in the UK, 8 November


Achieving sustainable flood-risk management in the UK
Tuesday 8 November Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR


5.30pm – 6.00pm: Refreshments upon arrival.

6.00pm – 7.45pm: Expert panel discussion including audience Q&A.

7.45pm – 9.00pm: Networking drinks reception (complimentary drink included).

Click here for details of the chair and panel.


Tickets: £10 | £7 RGS-IBG members.

(£7 tickets for Chartered Environmentalists available – please email:


This event welcomes both RGS-IBG members and non-members alike. If you would like to register for the event but are currently not a member, you will be asked to complete a ‘user registration’ form in order to book a place.

Who should attend?

This event welcomes all professionals in the broad field of flooding, including from practice, consultancy, policy and research.

By attending this event, you can accrue ‘Continuing Professional Development’ points towards the Chartered Geographer accreditation.

For further information or enquiries, please contact the RGS-IBG Policy Officer, Frances Dixon on T 020 7591 3058  (Monday – Thursday, 9.30am – 5.30pm).

telephone +44(0)20 7591 3058 email

How can the UK move towards a comprehensive strategy for sustainable flood-risk management for the next 25 years?

The Government has recognised flooding as one of the most serious threats facing the country, yet only the next six years of funding for flood risk management is assured. Alongside implementing short-term measures, the Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben, has recently urged the Government to develop ‘a new and comprehensive, long-term strategy to address flood risk.’

The National Flood Resilience Review (NFRR – September 2016) commits the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to looking beyond 2021: at what communities and Government can do to reduce flood-risk and at how flooding can be addressed in core cities. The anticipated ’25-year plan’ for the natural environment will also set out how to manage whole catchments ‘intelligently’, incorporating natural flood management to slow the flow. However, concerns have been expressed that demands for food production and farming in rural regions may be overlooked.

Panellists, drawing on significant insights from geography and other disciplines will question:

  • How can we effectively manage flood-risk in our urban environments and our farmed landscapes?
  • How can we build resilience within communities and what role should central and local government play in this?
  • What insights can an appreciation of space and place bring to flood-risk management? For example, research on river and landscape dynamics and an understanding of historical change.

The Society will also be launching a summary report of policy recommendations following an expert flooding round-table held in May 2016.



Roger Harrabin: BBC Environment Analyst and senior journalist on the environment and energy.

He is recognised as one of the world’s leading journalists and broadcasters on the environment and has won many awards for broadcasting on issues relating to sustainable development. Roger Harrabin started his career at the Coventry Evening Telegraph, and as a freelance journalist on Fleet Street before moving to the BBC nearly thirty years’ ago. He has since reported on programmes such as Panorama, Newsnight, Assignment, The Ten O’Clock News, BBC World and The World at One, drawing public attention to issues across environment, transport, energy, development, public health and economics. He is as Associate Press Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge and a Visiting Fellow at Green Templeton College, Oxford.


martin-rogers_web_editMartin Rogers, National Farmers Union     

Martin Rogers is Flood Management and Access Adviser for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the industry association for farmers in England and Wales. The NFU has 55,000 members, representing 70 per cent of active farmers in England and Wales. Martin leads the NFU’s policy work on flood resilience and natural flood management, river maintenance, and recovery from recent extreme weather events. Martin sits on the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology’s working group reviewing current literature on the extent to which trees influence flooding.


carly_rose_web_editCarly Rose, Mary Dhonau Associates

Carly Rose is an Associate Consultant at Mary Dhonau Associates (MDA), a small consultancy specialising in stakeholder engagement, flood awareness, flood prevention and resilience. Consultants with MDA have direct experience of being flooded. MDA works extensively with communities at risk, with Government and the media. Carly has substantial flood management experience, gained at the Environment Agency and has co-authored guides on flood recovery and flood resilience for home-owners . Carly is undertaking a PhD part-time at the University of the West of England, examining the interface between flood resilience adoption and the psychology of decision-making.


professor-david-sear_web_editProfessor David Sear, University of Southampton

David is Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Southampton, with research interests in river, lake and coastal sediment systems. David has advised the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency among others, on geomorphology, restoration and flooding. Since 2008, Professor Sear has led an ongoing project to map the former medieval town of Dunwich, Suffolk, identifying parts of the settlement lost through long-term coastal erosion and sea-level change and now submerged offshore.


colin-thorne_web_editProfessor Colin Thorne, University of Nottingham                       

Colin is one of the UK’s leading experts in flooding. He is Chair in Physical Geography at the University of Nottingham, a Concurrent Professor at Nanjing University and an Affiliate Professor at Colorado State University. From 2013 – 2016, Colin led the ‘Blue-Green Cities’ research project, developing new strategies for managing urban flood risk, alongside environmental enhancement and urban renewal. The second phase of the project launches in October 2016. In 2016, Colin was presented with the Back Award by the RGS-IBG, ‘For contributions to the scientific study of rivers and the shaping of  national and international policy on rivers and flood risk management.’


sarah_whatmore_web_editProfessor Sarah Whatmore, University of Oxford

Professor Whatmore is one of the world’s leading experts on the relationship between environmental science and the democratic governance of environmental risks and hazards. Professor Whatmore led a ground-breaking project in Ryedale (North Yorkshire), ‘Understanding Environmental Knowledge Controversies‘ that resulted in the development of better ways of engaging communities affected by flood risk, incorporating local knowledge and understanding to enhance flood-risk modelling. Professor Whatmore is Professor of Environment and Public Policy and Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research at the University of Oxford, an elected Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Social Sciences and the RGS-IBG.


Hazel Durant, Head of Water and Flood Integration, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Hazel will reflect on the panellists’ contributions and discuss the UK Government’s strategy for flood-risk management in the long-term, in particular, the anticipated ’25-year plan’ for the natural environment.