Working together to adapt to a changing climate: flood and coast

Closed 3 Sep 2021

Opened 3 Aug 2018


We know climate change is going to increase flood or coastal erosion risk for many communities. There will be some places where the current ways to manage risk will not work in the long term, and alternative, more sustainable options will be needed. We need to work closely with those communities to help them make decisions about their future.

Our aim is for authorities and communities to build a shared understanding of flood/coastal risk and we are running a research project to find better ways of doing this. Our research project is designing a community engagement programme which is being piloted in two locations.

We can then learn from and adapt these approaches depending on how well they work. We are producing resources and guidance for flood and coastal erosion risk management authorities.

What’s happened so far?

We have completed an Evidence Review about how to work with communities on climate adaptation, which will support the development of an engagement programme.

We have also selected two pilot locations to trial engagement:

  1. Caterham on the Hill and Old Coulsdon, Surrey/Croydon - an urban area which experiences surface water, river and sewer flooding.
  2. Hemsby and Winterton, Norfolk – two villages that experience coastal erosion and storm surges.

Icarus are working alongside the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, Coastal Partnership East and other partners to deliver the project.


Our final outputs will include reports documenting what we did and summarising our lessons learnt from the project.

We will also be producing a number of engagement tools, including a readiness assessment tool and guidance on running a simulation exercise.

Project outputs will be made publicly available on

How can I get involved? 

We are running quarterly webinars for our practitioner group, which includes staff from risk management authorities, academia, the voluntary sector and other organisations. These are used to connect people working on similar issues and get feedback on the project. We are also sending out quarterly updates of our progress - these are also available on this site. See event details below for how you can sign up to webinars and updates, or contact us.

Project timeline

We will update the information on this page as the project progresses. You can find out more about the project in the briefing notes attached below.


  • Engagement specialists/operational staff in Natural Resources Wales, local authorities and other risk management authorities


  • Flood management
  • Coastal management