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New research reveals Cardiff faces greatest risk of flooding due to the climate crisis in the UK

18 Apr 2022 2 minute read
Photo by ål nik on Unsplash

Cardiff is the local authority most at risk of flooding due to the current climate crisis, according to new research.

Two other areas in Wales, Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf, also feature in the 10 most vulnerable areas in the UK, according to data shared exclusively with The Independent.

The new research by Fathom, a Bristol-based flood-mapping business, claims to be the first model to use climate crisis data to predict which areas will be the most at risk of flooding due to rivers or heavy rainfall by 2050.

The company’s data calculates that by 2050 the number of properties vulnerable to non-coastal flooding will increase by close to 25%.

The new research finds that while there are around 1.09 million properties across Great Britain currently at risk of flooding, by mid-century this will rise to 1.35 million, an increase of nearly 25 per cent.

Fathom’s model defines risk as having a greater than 1 per cent chance of non-coastal flooding in any given year, a standard measure, according to the company.


Since the list was last updated in 2020, Denbighshire has dropped out of the top ten to be replaced by Clackmannanshire in Scotland.

The most at risk local authorities highlighted in the new report are

Location % of properties at risk Change since 2020
Cardiff 17.09% +15.06%
Windsor and Maidenhead 16.18% +14.61%
Warrington 14.36% +13.28%
Barking and Dagenham 12.31% +11.56%
Neath Port Talbot 12.20%  +7.88%
Scottish Borders 10.57% +9.24%
Rhondda Cynon Taf 9.31% +7.95%
West Berkshire 9.02% +8.20%
Greenwich 8.92% +8.52%
Clackmannanshire 8.72% +7.45%

“If you look at the places in Great Britain that are mostly at risk, South Wales and places along major rivers are most noticeable, but flood risk is everywhere and depends strongly on local geography,” Professor Paul Bates, Chair of Hydrology at the University of Bristol and co-founder of Fathom told the Independent.

Highlighting the increased risk in Neath Port Talbot, he said and this is because of the number of properties in the region currently just on the edge of flood risk zones that will be brought into the flood plain by the climate crisis.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

Fairbourne No of properties at risk. Change since 2020
100% 0%

Somehow I have this strange feeling that the residents up there hoping to be paid to move out are waiting in vain.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 years ago

No sign of Fairbourne on that list…that is it then, empty your piggy banks folks and send it to the Cardiff flood defences fund, perhaps Lee Waters (the clue is in the name) will think again and add some flood defence measures to the Llanbedr by-pass…

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