Cardigan Tidal Flood Risk Management Scheme

Closed 22 Dec 2022

Opened 11 Nov 2022


Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is developing a flood risk management scheme to reduce the risk of tidal flooding in The Strand area of Cardigan.

The scheme will aim to reduce the tidal flood risk to approximately 90 properties on the north bank of the Afon Teifi in The Strand area and will factor in the expected impact of climate change.

We have compiled three options that we consider to be feasible, and we have produced outline designs for each of those options.

In this consultation, we want to gather the views of the people of Cardigan on each option. Your feedback will inform our decision on which design - or elements of the different options - to take forward to be designed in detail, and then built.

We also want your ideas on the broader benefits that this scheme could provide for the town, and to benefit from your local knowledge to make sure we have a full understanding of the area.

Recent flooding in Cardigan

Cardigan has a history of relatively frequent flooding in recent years. It was affected by a significant flood, where depths reached more than half a metre in 2007, with other tidal flood events occurring in 2008, 2012 and in 2014.

An additional flood event in 2014 was attributed to surface water as it occurred during low tide.

The most recent significant tidal flood event was on 3 January 2014, when 29 properties on St Mary’s Street and adjoining streets were inundated by the tide. Additionally, there was flooding of the lower quayside areas in 2007.

Types of flooding

Flooding in Cardigan comes from four main sources: tidal, foul water, surface water and rivers.

  • Tidal flooding occurs when the tide reaches too high a level and spills over onto land.
  • Foul water flooding occurs when the network of pipes coming from buildings becomes overwhelmed and forces used water to come back through the pipes into homes.
  • Surface water flooding occurs when land cannot absorb water from rainfall – either because the ground is already saturated (full of water), or because rain falls onto non-permeable surfaces e.g. concrete.
  • Flooding from rivers (fluvial flooding) occurs when river levels are too high and exceed their banks.

Reducing the risk of flooding in Cardigan means that these sources of flooding each need to be addressed. Under the law, different organisations are responsible for each type of flooding.

NRW is responsible for managing tidal flooding; Welsh Water is responsible for managing foul water flooding; and local authorities are responsible for managing surface water flooding. Ceredigion County Council is the local authority in the case of Cardigan.

NRW is responsible for managing flood risk from main rivers, while local authorities are responsible for managing flood risk of non-main rivers. The Teifi is a main river.

Because of this, we at NRW are developing a flood risk management scheme to reduce the risk of tidal flooding to The Strand area of Cardigan. This means that this project and consultation does not look to address foul water or surface water flooding in Cardigan.

What have we done so far?

An NRW team was put together in early 2020 and is led by project delivery experts who have a great deal of experience in planning and building large projects. Their first focus was to put an Outline Business Case (OBC) together for a tidal flood scheme in Cardigan.

Work was also done to assess which areas are at risk of tidal flooding in Cardigan. Three distinct areas were identified: The Strand area and St Mary Street; Mwldan, and the Cattle Market.

A decision was made to tackle flood risk in The Strand area has it has the greatest number of properties at the highest risk of flooding.

The Mwldan area, including the Quay Street council car park and immediate properties are being appraised separately due to the flood risk also posed by the River Mwldan. This is being carried forward separately from the team focusing on The Strand area.

In Spring 2021 the OBC was approved by NRW’s Flood Risk Management Business Board. This approval allowed the project team to create the outline design for the scheme.

NRW appointed the consultant Binnies to progress with the assessment of the placement of the defence for The Strand area, which has involved ground investigation, topographic and other surveys.

Environmental Assessment

To support the development of the designs, we are considering and assessing potential impacts and opportunities the scheme might have on the environment.

We have started collating environmental information for the area and we are considering the potential environmental impact of each of the design options. Where there is potential for negative environmental impacts, we will aim to avoid, reduce or compensate those impacts.

Through the consultation, we would like to hear your thoughts on whether you feel our understanding of the local environment is accurate and well as your views on potential environmental impacts and opportunities.

A long-list of options

A long list of options to reduce flooding in The Strand was produced and appraised. Each option was scrutinised with only the more feasible options taken forward into a short-list of options, which we are now consulting on.

Some options were disregarded at the long-list stage, such as tree planting higher up in the Teifi catchment, and other natural flood management measures.

While tree planting is a powerful tool in holding water and reducing flooding in many circumstances, it would be ineffective in reducing flooding in The Strand area as the flooding is predominately influenced by the tide.

Please let us know if you would like more information about the appraisal process.

What happens next

The consultation period for the Cardigan Tidal Flood Risk Management Scheme has now closed. We would like to thank everyone who shared their views with us about the scheme.

We will now use the feedback to inform our decision on which of the three options we shared in the consultation will go ahead to the detailed design phase. A combination of options may also be used.

We will also be consulting on the scheme once the chosen option has gone through the detailed design process.


  • Drop-in Information Event

    From 23 Nov 2022 at 13:00 to 23 Nov 2022 at 19:00

    Come along to Cardigan Castle to learn more about the scheme and to ask NRW staff your questions.

    Drop-in at any time between 1pm and 7pm


  • Aberteifi/Cardigan-Teifi


  • Flooding


  • Flooding