Project Overview

What is the FDRI? The FDRI is a scoping project funded by NERC that will establish the requirements for a potential new national Floods & Droughts Research Infrastructure, and provide NERC with the information needed to submit a business case in Spring 2021. 

The primary objective of the FDRI is to increase the UK’s resilience to floods and droughts through a transformational research capability, which will dramatically improve in UK’s flood and drought forecasting,  planning, incident response & management.

The Scoping Study team is led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and comprises researchers from the University of Bristol, Imperial College London, and the British Geological Survey.

Building on the NERC-funded community workshops in 2019, which identified strong stakeholder interest in engaging with a dedicated scoping project, the FDRI team will be seeking views, ideas and inputs from a broad range of stakeholders across business, landowners, government and regulatory agencies via a series of surveys, webinars and virtual workshops. The team will also undertake a thorough review of past and ongoing flood and drought monitoring programmes, both in the UK and internationally.

Project Partners

Project partners logos

The Project Management Team

The project will be delivered through several complementary work packages , one of which is responsible for overall project management. Members of the Project Management team are as follows:

Gareth Old UKCEH, Principal Investigator & WP Lead
Nichola Badcock NERC, Quality Assurance
Victoria Barlow UKCEH, Project Manager
John Bloomfield BGS, WP Lead
Wouter Buytaert Imperial College London, WP Lead
Matt Fry UKCEH, WP Lead
Gwyn Rees UKCEH, Project Co-Lead
Nick Reynard UKCEH, Project Co-Lead
Marcia Spencer UKCEH, Outreach, Communication & Project Support
Thorsten Wagener University of Bristol, WP Lead
Gemma Coxon University of Bristol, WP Lead

Project Steering Committee

The project is overseen by a Project Steering Committee. Members include:

David Hannah (Chair) University of Birmingham
Nichola Badcock NERC, Head of Capital
Lindsay Beevers Herriot-Watt University
Alex Chahian NERC, Programme Sponsor, Major Projects
Nick Chappell Lancaster University
Stewart Clarke National Trust
Hannah Cloke University of Reading
Isabelle Durance Cardiff University
Steve Hallett Cranfield University
Joseph Holden University of Leeds
Steve Kaye UKWIR
Ruth Kelman NERC, Head of Resilient Environments
Oliver Knevitt NERC, Programme Manager, Capital and Resilient Environments
Michelle Manning NERC, Senior Programme Manager, Resilient Environments
Thomas Robinson NERC, Senior Programme Manager, Capital
John Remedios NCEO / University of Leicester
Rebecca Smith NERC, Programme Manager, Capital
Doug Whitfield Environment Agency

FDRI  Questionnaire

The FDRI consultative questionnaire continues to remain open and is reviewed frequently - if you would like to complete it or would like to get in touch with us, please email

FDRI Webinars

FDRI Webinar: Requirements and Rationale  Our second pre-recorded webinar was recorded in March 2021.  This webinar provides a 10 minute overview of the first workshop of the FDRI Scoping Project. It focused on identifying the community’s infrastructure requirements and their rationale.  The interests of both academic and non-academic stakeholder organisations were represented by the large number of attendees (>50).  Key findings are presented and next steps are described that include a second workshop that will consider and agree on priority infrastructure options.  This potential infrastructure investment represents a major opportunity for the whole community so we encourage your continued engagement to ensure we maximise the benefits.​

Introduction to the Flood Drought Research Infrastructure (FDRI) Scoping Study - The full recording of our first webinar that took place on Wednesday 14th October 2020.  We were asked many questions during the Q&A section of the webinar about the scope and detailed considerations of the FDRI scoping study.  A record of the themes raised and the responses made by the project team to specific questions can be viewed in the Webinar Questions and Responses document.

Why get involved?

Your contribution to the project is vital and this is your opportunity to become part of a collaborative, influential network. Your involvement will enable us to gain a clear understanding of the range and diversity of opinions and priorities across the community and will guide the project outcomes.   

Please note: due to GDPR guidelines it is critical that you ‘opt in’ to ensure your participation. It’s simple to do this, just click below: 

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Make sure your voice can be heard.

For general enquiries, to find out more about the project or to change your involvement level, please contact Marcia Spencer at





Principal Investigator

2000 to present day:   I am employed as a hydrogeomorphologist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford.

2013 to present day:   Hydrological Processes Group Leader.  

Recent projects include:

Systematic review of effect of woodlands on river flows (2016; CEH Core funding) Foci: Natural flood management evidence. Role: Project manager.