Taming the flood: rivers, wetlands and the centuries-old battle against flooding

6 May 2016, 5:15pm


In his lecture, Jeremy Purseglove, author of "Taming the Flood: Rivers, Wetlands and the Centuries-old Battle against Flooding" explores the cause of flooding in Britain and questions whether government policy on flood prevention is fit for purpose.


6 May 2016

5:15pm - 6pm followed by drinks and networking

Cripps Court, Magdalene College Cambridge

Register here

In 2014 the Somerset Levels suffered from the worst flooding in over twenty years. Inevitably the residents asked for more drainage, more dredging and more money. Flooding in the area has been an issue since it was a marshland, but is more drainage and more dredging the answer?

Exploring the old arguments and new solutions raised over the last 400 years, Jeremy Purseglove discusses how harnessing nature, rather than attempting to repress it, is the only answer.

As a practical landscape architect and ecologist working in the water industry, Jeremy Purseglove has been actively involved in land drainage engineering to try to enhance, rather than destroy, the heritage of our rivers and wetlands. Taming the Flood draws extensively on this experience, analysing many of the conflicting demands made on rivers and wetlands. He charts the conservation, agriculture and development, and outlines practical proposals for the protection and use of these sensitive ecological habitats.

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    Earlier this month, a group of experts from the University of Cambridge convened a one-day seminar to discuss river and coastal flooding in the UK, and how to manage risks and improve resilience in flood-prone communities.