The European Flood Directive and UK implementation

In Europe the European Flood Directive 2007/60/EC was a direct consequence of the Hyogo Framework for Action. It requires the creation of flood hazard maps and flood risk maps, showing likely impacts and areas probably affected by 2013, and – by 2015 – flood risk management plans.

The Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act was passed in response to the requirements of the European Flood Directive, in part to make provision for local authorities’ and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) functions in relation to flood risk management. England and Wales are covered by the Flood Risk Regulations and the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. Both acts require the creation of flood risk maps. In Northern Ireland the relevant legislation is The Water Environment (Floods Directive) Regulations Northern Ireland (2009), which is the only one to make specific reference to cultural heritage.

Despite at least one direct reference, none of the flood risk maps (most of which are publicly available) show cultural heritage sites.

Additional information on how this legislation relates to cultural heritage can be found in the article Preparing for the future: mitigating disasters and building resilience in the cultural heritage sector by Fiona McAllister, 2015, Journal of the Institute of Conservation 38(2), 115-129. If you are unable to access the article, please contact us.