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About the FEH Web service

The FEH Web Service provides the data and rainfall model outputs that are at the core of the flood frequency estimation procedures provided by the Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH) and subsequent updates. It provides catchment information (descriptors) for more than four million sites across the UK that drain an area of at least 0.5 km2. It also provides rainfall depth-duration-frequency (DDF) information for the catchments and for selected points derived from the new FEH 2013 and original FEH 1999 models.

The FEH Web Service updates and replaces the FEH CD-ROM application. The key features in common are:

  • The ability to define catchment boundaries across the UK, overlain on a map.
  • A searchable gazetteer of UK place names.
  • The ability to search for and view NRFA gauging stations.
  • The ability to view and export catchment descriptors from these catchments.
  • The ability to perform depth-duration-frequency (DDF) calculations for these catchments, both on a catchment average basis and at the nearest 1 kilometre grid location.

The principal new features include:

  • A modern web-based map interface with detailed Ordnance Survey mapping at a variety of scales ranging from 1:250,000 to 1:10,000, with the ability to adjust the transparency of contextual map layers, such as the urban extent or BGS hydrogeology.
  • The ability to export detailed map images.
  • The ability to export catchment boundaries as ESRI shape files.
  • Rainfall DDF modelling using the latest FEH 2013 methods as well as the legacy 1999 method.
  • New for May 2016: the ability to interrogate soil and climate descriptors, and perform rainfall DDF modelling, at arbitrary points on the map, not just at catchment outlets or points at 1km grid intersections.
  • More detailed graphs plotting DDF information which can be exported as an image.
  • The fact that, as a web based-system, it does not require installation on your PC, either at the point of initial use, or when future features are added or the underlying data sources change.
  • A pricing model that charges users according to their use of the system (“pay-per-view”), and which also provides many features free of charge.

The FEH Web Service is a product of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), and is developed, maintained and made available by its agent Wallingford HydroSolutions (WHS).

About the Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH)

The Flood Estimation Handbook, subsequent updates and related software offer guidance on rainfall and river flood frequency estimation in the UK. Flood frequency estimates are required for the planning and assessment of flood defences, and the design of other structures such as bridges, culverts and reservoir spillways. There is an increasing demand for estimates that can form the basis of flood risk maps.

The FEH also provides methods for assessing the rarity of notable rainfalls or floods, which are of interest to insurers and others. The procedures are clearly explained, and supporting theory and results included.

Further information is available on the FEH webpages.


The FEH map contains data supplied by third parties, we hereby acknowledge such usage:

  • Reproduced with the permission of the British Geological Survey ©NERC. All rights Reserved
  • Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right (2015)
  • Contains OSNI data © Crown copyright 2015