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International River Flooding Expert Enhances A Level Geography Studies At Fakenham Sixth Form

A Level Geography students at Fakenham Sixth Form were visited by Professor Richard Hey, a consulting environmental river engineer, to engage in discussions on the long term, sustainable management of river flooding. Professor Hey was a founding member of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was a Professor of Environmental Sciences teaching hydrology, river mechanics and geomorphology. He has published books and research papers on topics ranging from river hydraulics, natural river design, river restoration, flood alleviation and bridge pier scour control. He went on to become Professor of River Mechanics and Engineering at the University of Birmingham, teaching river mechanics and morphology.

Discussions were centred upon the use of hard and soft engineering approaches in the management of river flooding, before moving onto consider long term sustainable solutions to river management. A two stage channel approach to controlling river flooding was discussed, working on the principle of adding flood storage capacity onto a river channel in addition to the natural, stable channel and profile that a river achieves in the long term.

The approaches that were discussed will form the basis of further extended teaching and learning when studying the A Level Geography topics of Water and Carbon Cycles, as well as developing links with sustainable urban drainage systems studied through Contemporary Urban Environments.


Mr Coin Bye FRGS,

Assistant Principal, A level Geography Teacher,

Fakenham Academy and Sixth Form.



Photograph: River restoration. Wild Trout Trust, River Glaven, Norfolk.