Flooding – a social impact archive is a hub for research into the social effects of flooding. This site provides a gateway to research materials and data produced from a range of studies carried out at Lancaster University, UK. It provides information about how to undertake, analyse and use social research in flood policy and practice.

Aerial shot of small modern housing estate engulfed in flood water

Cumbria 2009


Flooding is the UK’s most serious ‘natural’ hazard with more than five million properties at risk and, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we can expect more severe flooding over the coming years. In the context of climate change and increased urbanisation, floods in the UK can damage property, businesses and infrastructure. Data on hydrology and economic impacts is collected in the aftermath of a flood and is used routinely by risk management authorities. It is known, however, that floods dramatically affect people’s lives and livelihoods. They destroy homes, treasured possessions and can damage social networks. Floods can affect physical and mental health, alongside family and community cohesion.

Flooded area of Wyre Forest

Wyre Forest 2014

Evidence of these social effects is important to improve future response by authorities and to help people understand what a flood could do to their lives. Moreover, providing accounts of how people’s lives are affected enables both authorities and the public to connect with flood impacts more effectively than through hydrological or economic data.


Social scientists at Lancaster University have researched the effects of floods on the lives of adults and children in three major projects: Hull Floods Project (2007-2009), Hull Children’s Flood Project (2007-2011) and Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience (2014-16). In addition to peer-reviewed publications, these projects have generated videos, pictures and stories that express the social effects of flooding. This site collates and makes these and other Lancaster University flood research materials available to both authorities and the public as an open access resource, hosted, administered and managed by the University.

Please reference this site as: Flooding – a social impact archive, Lancaster University