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Welcome to your Scottish Flood Forum spring newsletter.
Supporting Flood Risk Communities

The Scottish Flood Forum (SFF) is a charitable organisation that supports those who are affected by, or are at risk of, flooding across Scotland. This newsletter keeps you up to date on our work and lets you know about the activities of flood groups and others involved in flood risk communities. We have come through the winter without any major flooding incidents although we continue to bear in mind those who are still recovering from last winter’s floods. This is a valuable time for communities to plan and prepare for any future floods by improving their community flood resilience. The SFF continues to work with those recovering from flooding, and with groups and other partners in improving community plans for responses to future flooding risks 

Ask your friends and family to sign up for the SFF newsletters and follow our twitter feed @scotfloodforum for more details of where we are working across Scotland each week.

Strathyre Village Emergency Response Team 

Strathyre Village Emergency Response Team (SVERT) formed in 2016 and consists of 12 volunteers from the local community. The team activates their plan when they are required to support any local emergency incident including flooding. SVERT has a keen interest in flood risks as the village has suffered the effects of flooding in the past and recently invited the SFF to a team meeting to obtain its advice and support.

SVERT is led by Kenny Higgins who has helped to develop a river level monitoring system for Strathyre in partnership with Stirling Council. SVERT works to coordinate joint working with Stirling Council and the emergency services to help deal with local emergencies and as Kenny says: "The team is ready to do our bit". Stirling Council's Emergency Planning Manager David Bright says: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with SVERT and supporting their local emergency plan and look forward to working with the team in the future". You can view further information on Stirling Council emergency planning processes here  .

Partnership Working 

It's widely accepted that good partnership working is key to engaging flood risk communities to reduce flood risks, increase resilience and improve flood recovery. However, what is good partnership working? What does it look like in practice? The SFF put these questions to Fiona Work from Edzell Flood Group and Resilience Officer Steve Blyth from Angus Council.

Fiona says: "Community resilience flood groups can find the mixed definitions of partnership working confusing and this can lead to an approach where authorities lead and the community follows. Yet, there is a rich vein of passion within flood groups who wish to make change happen and take on responsibilities to create solutions to local issues"

Steve says: "Good partnership working is about respecting that each partner will have specific goals and drivers, especially those of volunteers who will be investing their own time and may need extra support. Respect for each other means we are more likely to achieve mutual goals rather than one that favours one partner and could fail at the first sign of trouble".

The SFF's good practice tip for partnership working is: "Passion has its place. Passion is a motivator and when used correctly it will inspire partners to contribute and get involved in the collective goals of flood risk communities.".

Let's Spread The Word

Help SEPA to raise awareness of flood risk in Scotland. Share its Flooding Gateway newsletter with friends and family or your local community group. It's full of lots of useful information on flooding. 

Happy Birthday

Floodre has reached its first anniversary and one year on it's bringing more choice for flood risk householders. Mark Hoban, Chairman of Flood Re, said: “Flood Re has changed the insurance market so that tens of thousands of households that have been flooded can access more affordable insurance".

Falkland Flood Action Group 

Falkland Flood Action Group (FFAG) and its partners are exploring the benefits of natural flood management (NFM) and how it can help to reduce flood risk. The group, local councillors and staff from the Falkland estate visited the Tweed Forum to soak up knowledge for Falkland. The Tweed Forum uses a range of NFM practices to manage flood risks and FFAG will apply this learning to their own community.

FFAG is already working in partnership with the Falkland estate to install "leaky barriers" and recently secured a £1000 grant to install another ten barriers to store and slow water. Sam Docherty from Falkland estate says: "What an interesting visit and from a land management perspective I certainly got a few ideas for the estate and to work in partnership with FFAG".  John Brown Chairperson of FFAG says: "This was a valuable study visit and our thanks go to Hugh Chalmers for answering all our questions. Our work with the Falkland estate is very important and this visit showed us what can be achieved with good partnership working". 

Liability Insurance

It’s important to check if the activities of community flood resilience groups are covered with public liability insurance. If your group is part of the community council, and has a community plan that has been developed in partnership with the local authority then it could be covered under the Community Council third party public liability scheme. You should contact your local authority Emergency Planning Officer to confirm if these arrangements apply to your community group, or consider taking out insurance cover to suit your needs.

The Scottish Government and Zurich Municipal Insurance recently issued guidance that stated: "For Community Councils covered by Zurich Municipal Insurance, it has been agreed that community resilience activities that do not involve mechanised equipment will be covered under existing policies". For this to apply to your group, you or Local Authority should notify Zurich Municipal of the fact that you have a community emergency plan in place and it has been developed with the support and advice of  the Local Authority. Your community council must have existing third party liability cover with Zurich Municipal.

It’s important to note that any activities of community flood resilience groups are low risk and should never place anybody in danger and to date there are no known claims for liability in resilient communities.

Tayside Waders 

The SFF has completed work with the Tayside Waders in Aberfeldy to produce a community flood plan, access funding for 200 synthetic sandbags and hold a community event to launch and test their flood plan. The Waders worked with the SFF and Perth and Kinross Council to plan the steps to being better prepared to flooding and raising awareness in their local community. Chairperson of the Waders Janet Hutchison says: "We got there in the end and I would like to thank the SFF for all their valuable support to help the Tayside Waders".

Moffat Transforms 

Moffat Flood Action Group has taken the decision to become a sub group of Moffat Community Council so it can continue its work to prevent flooding and reduce the risks. Chairman David Booth says: "We felt that our flooding issues and efforts to influence the council would be best represented as part of the Community Council. Even though we have dissolved Moffat Flood Action Group our work will continue as a sub group to prevent flooding and build our resilience".

This is a good example of flexibility being applied from a flood risk community to suit their circumstances as they have adapted their group structure to fit local democracy. The Scottish Flood Forum will continue to maintain communications with Moffat Community Council flooding sub group and would like to thank the group for all their valuable efforts and successes.

SFF Networking Event 

The SFF restarted its networking event for community flood resilience groups on 18th March. Called, "Sharing success and creating solutions", the SFF is committed to developing this as a regular event in the calendar for flood risk communities and delegates reported this event as a success. David Morrissey from Scottish and Southern Energy Network gave a presentation on how they are investing in flood defences and outlined their  resilient communities fund and how it is benefiting communities at risk of flooding. 

The SFF's Paul Hendy also gave an overview of good practice and partnership working as a model to improve flood recovery activities. Community flood resilience groups from Falkland, Freuchie, Edzell and Comrie learned about the latest in flood recovery approaches and identified the priorities for future networking events. John Thomson from Freuchie Flood Action Group says: "It is good to see this event starting again as there is so much we can learn from each other by sharing experience and I encourage people to attend the next one". Jake Kitt from Scottish Fire Rescue Service says: "It was a pleasure to host the Scottish Flood Forum and representatives from local groups and will give a talk on our role at a future event".  


Congratulations to Edzell Flood Group for its excellent work in securing £13000 from the Scottish and Southern Energy Network Resilient Communities Fund. This funding enabled the group to purchase temporary flood barriers and storage area that they will deploy to protect people and properties when flooding threatens the village.

Chairperson Fiona Work says: "In 2012 Edzell suffered nearly £1 million in damages and the human cost was far higher. This piece of work is an excellent example of grassroots flood resilience in action. Edzell Flood Group would like to thank the SFF and the resilience fund for their advice and support to make this goal our success and reality".

Lindsay Dougan from Scottish and Southern Energy Resilient Communities Fund says: "We are committed to helping communities become more resilient and are delighted to see Edzell Flood Group putting the funding to good use and we appreciate the support from the SFF".

Every Penny Counts

All donations to the SFF are very welcome and most appreciated however big or small as every penny counts towards supporting flood risk communities in Scotland. 

The Scottish Flood Forum is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation No. SC043783, Principal Office Address -  Caledonian Exchange,19A Canning Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8HE  01698 839021

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Scottish Flood Forum · Caledonian Exchange · 19A Canning Street · Edinburgh, Scotland EH3 8HE · United Kingdom

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