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Creating a resilient community refuge for flood events, UK

This case study describes how the community living in the village of Hoveringham identified an opportunity to increase resilience by improving their village hall so that it can be used as a flood refuge.
Multiple Authors
Hoveringham flood


The village of Hoveringham is already vulnerable to flooding, and flood alleviation work upstream has increased future threat. Villagers had been told there was little hope of flood defences as the population does not warrant expenditure on a cost effective basis. This raised concerns locally and as a result, villagers became more interested in their own community and wanted to take action.

Hoveringham village is 0.5 mile from the River Trent, with a history of flooding and a 1 in 10 year flood risk. The area is vulnerable to flooding which has a rapid onset: villagers receive 18-24 hours notice of a flood but then the water rises rapidly. The small population of the village does not warrant expenditure on river-side flood defences.

Key messages and learning outcomes

Example of local community-led action. The community identified the need but with a population of 350, they were unable to access expenditure on flood defences. They identified an opportunity to increase resilience by acting locally, with advice from outside agents as needed. Win-win action, as the community now has a better village hall as well as a flood refuge.

Adaptation outcomes

Enhanced community facility and a place of refuge for future flooding events.

Facilities include emergency generator and beds for overnight use.

A flood plan was developed, with the village hall identified as a suitable place for a control centre and refuge, as it stood on higher ground.

Enabling factors

Community led with broad engagement.

Partnership between community and outside agencies


Flood alleviation work upstream was felt to increase threat.

The emergency use of the hall has not yet been tested. A need to keep information on vulnerable people up to date.


Katie Wilson, Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire

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