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Event Organiser: ICE

Gerald Lacey Lecture 2020: 'Flooding in England - Past, Present and Future’, online

  • Lecture
  • 18 May 2020
  • 18:30 - 20:00
Gerald Lacey Lecture 2020: 'Flooding in England - Past, Present and Future’, online

About this event

Event fully booked

This event is now fully booked. Please contact the ICE Events Team at [email protected] if you would like to be added to the waiting list. If space becomes available, you will be contacted with joining instructions .


This lecture will provide an overview of the scale of the flood risk in England, touching upon historical flooding and for more recent flood events the impacts, the UK’s response and the recovery from them and looking ahead to future of flood risk in this country – how do we become a nation ready for, and resilient to, flooding and coastal change.

Recent flood events include the winter of 2013/14 which started with the largest coastal surge in a generation and led to the wettest winter in 250 years. The winter of 2015/16, Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank brought severe and damaging weather leaving over 19,000 homes and businesses flooded in the north of England whilst Environment Agency flood defences protected over 23,000 homes and businesses during the same period. The storms recorded record rain fall and river levels which led to the wettest calendar month on record in December 2015 and new 24 hour and 48 hour rainfall records for the UK.

And not forgetting this winter – Large parts of central and eastern England had twice the normal level of rainfall in October 2019, with central parts of England receiving a month’s worth of rainfall in the early part of November.

Saturated catchments and highest ever river levels recorded on several rivers November saw the most significant impacts in Yorkshire. February 2020 was the wettest February in the UK since records began in 1862 and for the 3 storms that occurred, peak river levels were the highest or second highest on record on 13 rivers. This winter over 4600 properties flooded. We estimate that our flood risk management schemes have protected 128,100 properties in the same period.

Looking forwards, climate science is telling us flooding in England is only going to get worse, so we have been developing a new Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy. John will explore what needs to change if we are going to become a nation ready for, and resilient to, flooding and coastal change – today, tomorrow and to the year 2100.


18:20 Online registration
18:30 Lecture commences
19:15 Questions and discussion
19:35 Summation from Chair
19:45 Event closes


John Curtin

Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Environment Agency

John Curtins

John is responsible for the directorate which sets the direction for flood and coastal risk management, manages key stakeholder relationships and gives expert advice to government to help develop and implement flood and coastal erosion risk management policies.

During major incidents John’s role is to support the national coordination of the Environment Agency’s response and to support their input into Government including COBR. This was the role John played through the winters of 2013/14, 2015/16 and 2019/20 as the UK faced widespread flooding caused by the largest coastal surge in a generation and the wettest winter in 250 years in 2013/14, the wettest month on record in December in 2015 and many river level records broken this winter.

Event venue

United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Gabrielle Knowles

e: [email protected]