Defra Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder: The First Year


The interim evaluation of Defra’s two-year Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder Scheme has recently been completed. The Pathfinder project aims to increase community resilience to flooding in 13 communities across England. This report provides a scheme-level assessment of project outputs as a whole and follows on from the Rapid Evidence Assessment that was published in March 2014.

The evaluation has established a framework for measuring community resilience and findings show all 13 Pathfinders have made progress in Year 1 on the interventions outlined in their original project plans. In some cases, planned targets have been exceeded and additional activities have been initiated.

In the first year:

  • Pathfinders have explored a range of flood resilience measures such as Property Level Protection, rain gauges, CCTV schemes and community flood stores
  • The Blackburn with Darwen, Calderdale, Liverpool, Rochdale, Slough, Swindon and Warwickshire Pathfinders have developed flood resilience materials for engaging with schools or have undertaken school visits
  • 100 flood wardens have been trained by the Cornwall Pathfinder
  • The Blackburn with Darwen Pathfinder has targeted businesses with flood plan templates
  • A Junior Flood Action Group has been set up by the Swindon Pathfinder
  • The Northamptonshire Pathfinder has created a video ‘Don’t Be a Numpty’ that is available on YouTube
  • A guide to the tide table and flooding has been developed by the Southampton Pathfinder
  • The West Sussex Pathfinder held their first ‘Annual Peer Learning Workshop’ on flooding
  • A photography exhibition illustrating historical flooding in the area was held by the Chesham Pathfinder
  • The Devon Pathfinder has developed and tested a community emergency plan in Braunton and has engaged over 20 communities in the county.

There is evidence of good progress and novel initiatives occurring in the individual Pathfinder projects.

This report was produced by Collingwood Environmental Planning and a summary will be available to view on the Defra Research website.