Last week, over 200 areas across Britain were on flood watch following torrential rain that has submerged communities.

With homes, commercial properties and farmland under water, Thomson Environmental Consultants delved into Environment Agency data to predict the UK areas facing the biggest risk of flooding in 2024 based on the locations with the most flood alerts and warnings over the last five years.¹

Thomson Environmental Consultants is one of the UK’s leading independent environmental consultancies supporting a range of businesses to comply with environmental legislation and helping them work towards the best outcome possible to benefit both them and the natural world. Their specialist water consultancy team supports authorities and businesses to lower the impact of flood events.

The study revealed West Midlands as the region with the highest flood risk factor, having experienced severe flooding during winter in 2019 and 2020. Heavy and persistent rain, combined with saturated ground, led to significant river and surface water flooding in the region that impacted many homes and businesses

The region received a total of 4,107 alerts during the last five years and experienced the most alerts in Severn Vyrnwy Confluence (87), followed by Upper Avon River Swift and Clay Coton Brook (85) and River Churnet and River Tean (80).

According to the new research, the top ten flood-risk areas in England are:

  1. West Midlands (4107)
  2. Wessex (3397)
  3. Yorkshire (2608)
  4. Solent and South Downs (1789)
  5. Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk (1608)
  6. Kent S London and E Sussex (1456)
  7. East Midlands (1256)
  8. Cumbria (1195)
  9. Devon (1074)
  10. Thames (1050)

Wessex is in close second place, with 3,466 flood alerts and warnings spanning the past five years. In November 2019, Wessex (Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and parts of Hampshire) was affected by widespread flooding. Somerset and Dorset were severely affected, leading to heavy disruptions and property damage.

Key areas most at risk include Somerset Coast at Porlock Weir with 176 alerts in total, Christchurch Harbour (101), Tidal River Avon at Bristol, Pill and Shirehampton (89) and West Bay Harbour (81).

Map showing 30 live flood warnings and alerts in Wessex and 11 in West Midlands as of Monday 18th December. According to the Environment Agency, there are currently 30 live flood warnings and alerts in Wessex and 11 in West Midlands as of Monday 18th December.

Emily Trill, Senior Hydrological Consultant at Thomson Environmental Consultants, discussed the importance of flood mitigation and how local authorities and property developers can significantly lower the impact of future flood events: “Investing in critical infrastructure, regulating development in flood-prone areas, and fostering community awareness and preparedness can significantly reduce the impact of future flood events. However, collaboration among authorities, agencies, and environmental consultancies is vital to creating resilient floodplain management strategies that safeguard communities and natural defences against the growing risks posed by climate change.”

Thomson’s expertise includes water catchment management, water quality assessment, hydrogeology and hydrology. Through surveys, data modelling and consultancy advice, they can advise local authorities, developers and businesses to limit the impact of flooding. This can be at a catchment scale through nature-based solutions, such as creating wetlands through site-specific advice on sustainable urban drainage. Thomson also works with affected parties after flooding events to help limit the impact of future flooding on local communities.

You can find a full breakdown of the study here:

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