- 16th December 2021
- Posted by: Dom Senior
- Category: Projects
Location: Yorkshire Client: Defra
Between September 2019 and September 2021, we supported the Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP) at the University of Leeds and City of York Council as a key project partner on the Defra-funded Yorkshire Flood Resilience Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Pathfinder.
One of three DEFRA-commissioned pathfinder projects in England, the Yorkshire Flood Resilience PFR Pathfinder project was led by City of York Council on behalf of the 14 Lead Local Flood Authorities across Yorkshire.
Reaching its conclusion at the end of September 2021, this project formed part of the Government’s plan to create a nation ready for and resilient to climate change, by raising awareness and levels of take-up of PFR in order to prepare and manage their flood risk.
Working alongside the iCASP team our objective was to identify the barriers that exist to the uptake of PFR and what could be done to address this. As a key project partner, we were also tasked with supporting the Yorkshire Pathfinder project team to develop tools to help individuals, businesses and communities manage their own flood risk.
Originally, it was hoped there would be plenty of opportunity for face-to-face engagement with Yorkshire communities. However, with Covid-19 restrictions in place across the country, the way in which we approached this project had to completely change. As a result, the development of a website, social media channels and a host of online resources became key to ensuring a long-term legacy.
In partnership with the iCASP team we conducted a baseline study to better understand any barriers that exist to the uptake of PFR. To ensure we gathered as much information as possible, stakeholder groups across the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) region were included.
These consisted of four main groups
- Households, businesses, and community groups (landlords, residents and flood groups)
- Property, trade, building suppliers and outlets (developers and maintenance contractors)
- Financial influencers (insurance, mortgage lenders and investors)
- Flood Risk Management Authorities (Environment Agency, Lead Local Flood Authorities, Water Companies)
The results of this study were then used to create a strategy and develop tools to help overcome barriers to the uptake of PFR, whilst also encouraging future uptake to mainstream delivery of this type of flood risk management action.
We played an active role in supporting the Yorkshire Pathfinder project team develop a range of resources. These included a new website, downloadable information packs for homeowners and businesses, online introductory training modules and a series of animations designed to make the benefits of PFR easy to understand. We were also able to support the development of an educational game for children, which was designed to help young people aged between 7-11 understand the importance of preparing for flooding.
As Covid-19 restrictions began to ease across Yorkshire we were also able to attend a number of conferences and events, including The Great Yorkshire Show – and a series of Climate Café events in Hull and York.
By conducting a detailed baseline study, we were able to create an accurate picture of the barriers that exist to the uptake of PFR. As a result, and with our support, the Yorkshire Pathfinder Project team were able to develop a range of innovative tools to help individuals, businesses, and community groups prepare and take actions to mitigate the risk of flooding.
Between December 2020 and September 2021, the Yorkshire Flood Resilience Property Flood Resilience project reached around two million people across Yorkshire with its messaging. This included a bus campaign, dedicated social media presence, animations, and a YouTube series.
Following the conclusion of the project we’re now entering a three-month evaluation period to assess the impact of change and to share any useful lessons and insights with Defra, the Environment Agency, and local authorities across the country. This will help shape future work aimed at supporting the Environment Agency’s ambition to mainstream PFR; and help encourage wider take-up of PFR by property owners at flood risk.