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Flood risk management, an approach to managing crossborder hazards

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elizabeth Oughton, Dr Andrew Donaldson, Dr David Passmore



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


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 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bracken LJ, Oughton EA, Donaldson A, Cook B, Forrester J, Spray C, Cinderby S, Passmore D, Bissett N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Natural Hazards

Year: 2016

Volume: 82

Issue: Supp. 2

Pages: 217-240

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 11/04/2016

Acceptance date: 03/03/2016

Date deposited: 01/09/2016

ISSN (print): 0921-030X

ISSN (electronic): 1573-0840

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11069-016-2284-2


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Funder referenceFunder name
Scottish Government
RES-240-25-0020ESRC led RELU programme