Policy implementation of catchment-scale flood risk management: Learning from Scotland and England

Josselin J. Rouillard (Lead / Corresponding author), Tom Ball, Kate V. Heal, Alison D. Reeves

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent years have seen a gradual adoption of a "catchment-scale" approach to flood risk management into European policy-making which, amongst other objectives, promotes rural land use change to reduce flood risk. While some exploratory studies of land managers' attitudes exist, research is lacking on how public policies can be mobilised locally to implement these ideas. Two local initiatives were analysed in the transboundary River Tweed basin in Scotland and England during which public authorities negotiated with land managers. A combination of documents (. N=. 21) and interviews (. N=. 63) forms the basis of the data analysed. The results showed that implementation is highly dependent on the local policy framework, the activities of implementers, and land managers' responses to (combination of) policy instruments. Several factors were identified influencing implementation such as devolution arrangements (i.e. from national to regional/local), the level of local interest on flood risk, local attitudes to compromise and collaboration, available policy instruments, and the existence of participatory catchment organisations. With limited scope for stand-alone regulatory action or funding in the short term, synergies and measures promoting co-benefits in flood risk management should be further sought in the Water Framework Directive River Basin Management Plans, as well as in cross-compliance and the new agri-environment-climate strategies of the common agricultural policy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-165
    Number of pages11
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


    • Common agricultural policy
    • Flood directive
    • Land use change
    • Water framework directive

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Geography, Planning and Development


    Dive into the research topics of 'Policy implementation of catchment-scale flood risk management: Learning from Scotland and England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this