Flood risk management; an approach to managing cross-border hazards

Louise Bracken, Liz Oughton, Andrew Donaldson, Brian Cook, John Martin Forrester, Chris Spray, Steven Cinderby, Dave Passmore, Nicola Bissett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


River flooding is a serious hazard in the UK with interest driven by recent widespread events. This paper reviews different approaches to flood risk management and the borders (physical, conceptual and organisational) that are involved. The paper showcases a multi-method approach to negotiating flood risk management interventions. We address three fundamental issues around flood risk management: differences and similarities between a variety of approaches; how different approaches work across borders between professionals, lay people, organisations and between different planning regimes; and, whether the science evidence base is adequate to support different types of flood risk management. We explore these issues through a case study on the River Tweed using Q-methodology, community mapping and focus groups, participatory GIS, and interviews, which enabled co-production of knowledge around possible interventions to manage flooding. Our research demonstrated that excellent networks of practice exist to make decisions about flood risk management in the Scottish-English Borders. Physical and organisational borders were continually traversed in practice. There was an overwhelming desire from professional flood managers and local communities for an alternative to simply structural methods of flood management. People were keen to make use of the ability of catchments to store water, even if land needed to be sacrificed to do so. There was no difference in the desire to embrace natural flood management (NFM) approaches between people with different roles in flood management, expertise, training or based in different locations. Thus conceptual borders were also crossed effectively in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-240
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue numberSupplement 2
Early online date11 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2016.


  • flooding; Natural Flood Management; Adaptive Flood Management;

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