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Flood research inspiring creative responses at Oxford Ideas Festival – University of Reading

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Flood research inspiring creative responses at Oxford Ideas Festival

Release Date 16 October 2020

A city scene with people making their way through floods


Young people are being inspired to write their own poetry about flooding with help from Hydrology researcher from the University of Reading.

The scheme is part of the University of Reading’s presence at the Oxford Science + Ideas Festival, and for 2020 is focused on their world leading research on flooding.

With support from researchers working on flooding programmes, young people are being inspired to submit their poems into a competition and judged by a panel which includes Hydrology expert Professor Hannah Cloke OBE and creative writing lecturer Dr Yasmine Shamma from the University of Reading’s English Literature department.

Professor Hannah Cloke from the University of Reading said:

“The impacts of flooding can have a devastating effect on those whose houses, livelihoods and even lives are taken when waters rise. But there are also longer term impacts, such as the economic costs of areas of the country that are increasingly prone to flooding or the effect that climate change has on the risk of floods happening.

“Young people have a real stake in the way that flooding affects us all, and I’m really pleased that we are able to be at the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival to help inspire young people to find their voice on this important matter.

“Dealing with flooding requires creative responses, not just in the management of our natural defences and in taking early action to prevent floods from happening, but equally in the way that we talk about the issue. I am looking forward to judging the entries.”


Find out about Flooding

Virtual visitors who take in the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival can also pose their questions to flooding experts from the University of Reading on Saturday 17 October.

Flood scientists will be available on a virtual stall and will be on hand to answer queries or issues to do with flooding. The stall will showcase some of the University of Reading’s work on flooding, including the Natural Flood Management system that is being rolled out across the country.

Professor Cloke said:

“This year has already seen that the UK Government needs to increase its efforts to address flooding and I am pleased that they have recently announced extra funding for the problem.

“Flooding is something that we all need to understand so that we can be aware of the potential risks, and also ensure that appropriate measures across our country are implemented.”

Further information about the Floods Ahead project can be found at:


Register for an interactive session with a flooding scientist at:


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