Climate change and extreme weather events present a range of natural hazards for the islands of the Scottish Outer Hebrides. The coastline of the island of South Uist suffered extensive erosion and shoreline change as a result of a highly destructive storm during January 2005. Particular sections of coastline are susceptible to flooding that may result in the future from damaging storms and also in the long term as a result of rising sea levels. At Kilpheder extensive areas of low-lying farmland are protected from flooding by a narrow stretch of dunes. Following significant erosion during the 2005 storm, several attempts have been made to 'defend' the area from inundation. In this paper, we describe the nature of the flood sensitivity, the community driven decision making and management approach employed at this site, the capacity of the local community to adapt to coastal change, and describe the performance of the implemented coastal defences.