The RAIN Team & our Partners

Here are the people and organisations that are working together to deliver the RAIN project.

Get to know Alan Ryan

Programme Manager with overall responsibility for West Northants Council reporting to the Environment Agency

Extensive experience in both private and public sector delivering projects and programmes in renewables and sustainability sector. Prior to the RAIN project managed the Ox-CAM Property Flood Resilience project.

Finding solutions to people’s problems that has a meaningful and positive impact on their lives.

Chef on a cruise ship

We have two Jack Russell’s, Benji and Spud, with very big characters each to keep us busy!

I’ve recently started learning to play the guitar so hopefully by the time the RAIN project ends it can be called a talent then.

Alan Ryan

Get to know Sarah Parr

Project Manager, keeping the project moving and maintaining links between all the partners, problem solving and engaging with the public, also a bit of reporting which I don’t like to think about too much!

I am a qualified landscape architect and have many years in land management and managing public open space. My last role was leading a 75-person team of gardeners and arborists with a technical office team and together we maintained and managed public open space across Kettering and Corby.

I love working with this team of multi-talented people, all with different backgrounds working on the same goals. The people in this industry are generally compassionate and want things to be better for the public and the landscape, and a symptom of those things is a good working environment.

yoga instructor, something with birds or dog fussing (if you can make a job out of that) or rock star!

I live with a border terrier; she is quite possibly perfection!

I can tap dance, I have a black belt in kickboxing and a blue belt in Brazilian jujitsu, I can walk freakishly fast!

Get to know Kate McLaren

Project Support officer, I am involved with the day-to-day planning and engagement for the project.

I am a MSc Environmental Management graduate, I have worked in shops while juggling university, worked with children to engage them all about the environment and the Earth’s history and before this job, I was working at my university as a research assistant all about recycling and reuse!

This project brings together so many different people within the environmental and flood industry, I love that I can talk to and learn from so many people. Also, engaging with the public really gives a strong sense of purpose to the job.

anything that would let me travel around the world while having an income would suit me

sadly none… yet. Maybe in the future!

I am Scottish, I moved to Northamptonshire for this job and currently enjoying exploring this part of the country. I like learning new things, going new places and being creative… cooking, knitting, reading!

Get to know Tris Baxter-Smith

I am a Land Advisor to the Nene Rivers Trust, I oversee the LENs (Landscape Enterprise Networks) and support the RAIN project, helping to deliver environmental benefits to farmland and communities.

I am an experienced farm manager and business owner. I took on my family’s Northamptonshire farm in 2015, which has been farmed by my ancestors for the past 120 years. My previous experience has allowed me to gain a wealth of experience in the agricultural and sustainability sectors.

Get to know Mary Long-Dhonau OBE

My role within the project is visiting communities to talk to residents and business owners who are at risk about the benefits of Property Flood Resilience, mostly using the Floodmobile.

Having been flooded myself on many occasions, I have spent over 20 years researching Property Flood Resilience and working directly with communities to support them with their flood planning, resilience and recovery. I am known for being evangelical about PFR and in encouraging people to ‘Build Back Better’. I also try my best to influence those who manage climate-related risk about the impact of being flooded so they understand its affect on people. I have also authored several guides and eBooks on the topic and am very proud to have been awarded an OBE for Services to the Environment in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2009.

It really is getting to meet so many people; I learn so much from the industry, which helps me to help others. I love helping people by offering advice – from one flood victim to another – and to help them find ways of becoming more resilient.

I’m living the dream!

I have a husband; that’s enough! I’m also on the road too much to properly care for a pet.

I studied at the Royal College of Music and used to sing professionally. I’m so out of practice now, I think people would pay me good money to stop singing!

Get to know Shelley Evans

I manage the operational Property Flood Resilience work package for the RAIN project, and provide additional consultant project management support to the programme.

I am the national lead for Property Flood Resilience for JBA Consulting. I am also Secretary of the Flood Resilience Professional Working Group for the Emergency Planning Society. Since 2019 I have held a part-time industry course lecturer post for the Flood and Coastal Risk Management MSc at Lancaster University.

I love everything about my job! I love problem solving and overcoming technical challenges. I love helping people, and being part of a wider industry of talented individuals that are all striving to build resilience to the impacts of climate change

Wedding Planner… I love planning/ communicating/ designing/ socialising… and of course I love weddings!

When I was 10 years old, I won a roller skating disco dancing competition to Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean!


Who we are working in collaboration with

3Keel is an Oxford-based sustainability innovation and risk management consultancy. A certified B-Corp, 3Keel is committed to making landscapes, food systems and supply chains fit for the future. At the heart of 3Keel’s work is a firm belief that businesses, local government, civil society, and land managers working in unison are vital to drive sustainable change and build local resilience.


Through their Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) marketplaces, 3Keel is integrating RAIN within a wider network of businesses across the East of England to co-procure nature-based solutions in the Northamptonshire landscape. Through this, 3Keel is building a community of practice whose members will invest in flood resilience measures alongside RAIN.

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Mary has extensive experience in supporting and advising the victims of flooding during their recovery. Having been flooded herself on many occasions, she champions the use effective use of Property Flood Resilience (PFR) measures and is vocally passionate about raising awareness of flood risk and PFR /Build Back Better to homeowners, communities, local authorities, government, and relevant industries, including insurance and construction.


“I am delighted to be working in RAIN project, as I am keen to raise awareness of Property Flood Resilience and the part it can play in reducing the appalling impact a flood can have”

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Nene Rivers Trust is known for quality and innovation as it promotes green infrastructure and raises the profile of Northamptonshire, highlighting the quality of its environmental design and delivering sustainable development.


Nene Rivers Trust focus in the promotion of the conservation, protection, and improvement of the physical and natural environment. This includes: Supporting the protection and recovery of the environment from climate change, and supporting the natural environment and communities to adapt to the changing climate.


“We are looking forward to working on the RAIN Project because we believe that the innovative approach has the most potential to deliver superior collective outcomes, both for biodiversity and flood prevention.


We believe the RAIN project will be successful because it takes a multi angle, innovative approach to flood protection. Involving communities and landowners to drive change from the ground up.”

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Based in Oxfordshire, HR Wallingford has 70 years of experience delivering solutions wherever water interacts with people, infrastructure, and the natural environment. The team has extensive expertise in flood resilience and management, helping people, communities and infrastructure on a global scale. Importantly, HR Wallingford provides specialist research and consultancy services to protect vulnerable communities and improve lives – before, during and after flood events.


“RAIN will make a real difference to people’s lives.  It involves complex flooding problems and innovation.  A combination that we thrive on”.

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The Environment Agency is working closely with RAIN to share local knowledge on flood risk management. It gives us an opportunity to steer help and funding to areas within the catchmetns that we know are at risk. We have the opportunity to collabortate with a variety of partners and experts to share knowledge and make a difference.

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Anglian Water is looking forward to seeing how the RAIN project, and wider programme influences, positively impact how it manages flood risk and how it will collaborate with partners to provide flood resilience measures. The team is also able to share its extensive local flood risk knowledge of the two catchment areas as well as information and insights relating to previous and ongoing Anglian Water schemes.

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West Northamptonshire Council is working in partnership with North Northamptonshire Council to deliver funding as part of the Flood and Coast Resilience Innovation Programme (FCRIP).

RAIN, which is one of 25 nationwide FCRIP projects, allows for funding to be steered towards ‘at risk’ communities and take a holistic approach that enables the council to listen to and support residents, while implementing multiple actions to improve resilience. With this opportunity it aims to build confidence and show those who are at risk or have experienced flooding that it is possible to be resilient, be prepared and recover.

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