The High Water Directory

Here you can find detailed summary and contact information for organisations working at the forefront of flood risk management.
Looking to initiate or expand flood risk management in your local area?
Use this resource to find out who’s doing what, and how to get in touch with them.

The Environment Agency is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

We work to create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development.

Our responsibilities within England include:

  • regulating major industry and waste
  • treatment of contaminated land
  • water quality and resources
  • fisheries
  • inland river, estuary and harbour navigations
  • conservation and ecology

We are also responsible for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea.

Our priorities are to:

  • work with businesses and other organisations to manage the use of resources
  • increase the resilience of people, property and businesses to the risks of flooding and coastal erosion
  • protect and improving water, land and biodiversity
  • improve the way we work as a regulator to protect people and the environment and support sustainable growth.

Our Corporate Report ‘Environment Agency: our ambition to 2020’ includes our vision, principles and purpose, and sets out our objectives to create a cleaner healthier environment which benefits people and the economy, a nation better protected against natural threats and hazards, and our commitment to work in partnership.

You can read more about our vision, priorities and principles here:

Natural Flood Risk Management

Natural flood risk  management measures can help slow, store and filter floodwater, and are often used in conjunction with more traditional engineering techniques. Environmental, social and other benefits (such as reduced soil erosion) can be provided simultaneously with reducing flood risk. Along with making existing flood defences more resilient to climate change, it can help us achieve Water Framework Directive, Floods Directive and biodiversity goals at the same time.

We ensure all viable options together with natural flood management solutions are considered.  We have also developed a Working with Natural Processes Research and Development framework in partnership with a range of organisations and leading experts. We are committed to using the results of this research along with other evidence to prioritise projects, evaluate options and build partnerships with others. We are working with colleagues in Scotland and Wales to establish a natural flood management network to share knowledge and best practice across the UK.

The Environment Agency

National Flood Forum

The National Flood Forum is a charity dedicated to assisting, supporting and representing people who have suffered flooding and those that find themselves at risk.

People are at the heart of our organisation, so we therefore are driven by the grass roots agenda and strive to allow their voices to be heard, their local expertise acknowledged, and we work towards putting flooding issues at the centre of policy making. It is important to us that we remain independent so that we can provide honest, unbiased advice.

We also want to help people and communities so we provide a helpline 01299 403055 that can give expert advice and information on any subject flood related. We can help people to reduce the risk of their flooding by;  facilitating grass root community Flood Action Groups that work in partnership with flood risk management teams, discuss what is needed to prepare for a flood event, and help to unravel the difficulties of understanding products that may lessen the amount of water entering homes. We also

Helping people by being on the ground immediately after they have suffered a flood event is a key way for us to support people with all the many initial issues that they will be faced with, but we also can be on the ground long term for the average recovery time of 9 to 18 months. Apart from the active and productive way we approach the issues people will be faced with, we also give time to listen with a true understanding of the impact that flooding has on our lives

We can support our professional partners and voluntary sector colleagues  too by;  providing a recovery service, raising awareness through flood exhibitions of information and a plethora of resistant products, and hosting flood surgeries for specific relentless issues such as insurance reinstatement. We provide staff training to, and a consultancy service, always happy to come and meet with you to lend support and partnership.

SEPA - Scottish Environment Protection Agency

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is Scotland’s national flood forecasting, flood warning and strategic flood risk management authority.

SEPA’s Floodline Service provides live flooding information and advice on how to prepare for or cope with the impacts of flooding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sign up to Floodline for free flood messages direct to your phone.

SEPA’s flood maps are designed to help you understand how you could be affected by flooding. The maps show you areas which are likely to flood from rivers, the sea and surface water.

The Flood Risk Management Strategies developed by SEPA are part of the approach implemented by the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009. They set the national direction of future flood risk management, helping to target investment and coordinate actions across public bodies. The strategies explain what causes flooding in high risk areas as well as the impacts when flooding does occur. This information is used as a basis for better decision-making across flood risk management organisations.

SEPA published the Natural Flood Management Handbook to provide a practical guide to the successful implementation of natural flood management. It is primarily for local authorities tasked with the delivery of actions set out in the Flood Risk Management Strategies. The guidance provided is informed by demonstration projects and studies undertaken by SEPA and partners that have highlighted some of the requirements for the effective delivery of natural flood management. A map showing areas where  further detailed assessment should take place are featured on our flood maps.

For further information please contact


Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services.

We have helped our clients to develop and deliver some of the UK’s most prominent, innovative and well-designed projects to protect communities from flooding. We recognise that Natural Flood Management (NFM) techniques provide a significant opportunity to reduce flood risk, whilst also nurturing vital natural ecosystems. We have therefore developed leading-edge mapping and modelling methodologies, which are being used across the UK to identify where such techniques are likely to have most potential.

Arup is proud to have been heavily involved with the Pickering “Slowing the Flow” Partnership Project as the Environment Agency’s consultants. Our role involved developing and designing a scheme to provide better protection to communities in Pickering that complemented a series of catchment-wide interventions implemented by the Environment Agency’s partners.  Our solution was a passive flood “balancing” area capable of temporarily storing over 125,000 m3 of floodwater behind a sensitively-landscaped embankment dam in the valley upstream of the town. This provides confidence that the flows entering the town will only exceed the channel’s capacity once this storage area has filled completely. Our analysis indicates that the probability of this occurring is 4% in any year. Combining sensitively-designed, tried and tested techniques of this kind with NFM, provides the security that communities require to feel reliably protected. Arup is currently focused on helping to develop the evidence-base required to ensure greater up-take of NFM techniques nationally.