"Now the most striking difference between the country as we know it and as it was known to the ancients is the existence of the great Lake in the centre of the island."

The Environment Agency website states: 'Over 5 million people in England and Wales live and work in properties that are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea'.

There have been many devastating floods in the history of Britain. Those of recent memory have overshadowed earlier floods (Lynmouth; Canvey Island). With Climate Change causing extreme weather events, flooding promises to become an increasingly common fact of life.

The Great Flood of 1607 Described as the worst natural disaster to hit Britain, the flood of 1607 killed 2,000 people across Somerset and Monmouthshire. It is estimated 200 square miles (520 sq km) of land were covered by water. Eyewitness accounts of the disaster told of "huge and mighty hills of water" advancing at a speed "faster than a greyhound can run".

Read more here

1952 Lynmouth Flood Disaster: The worst post-war flooding disaster in Britain took place in the North Devon village of Lynmouth in 1952, in a tragedy which claimed 34 lives. The flooding occurred on 15 August 1952, after nine inches of rain fell in the space of 24 hours.

1953 East Coast Floods: Exceptional weather conditions combined with a spring tide produced one of the worst floods in living memory for the east coast of England. Over 300 people lost their lives and damage in today's money was estimated at over £5 billion.