Friday, 12 December 2014

New 'Flood Risk' mobile app helps the public stay 'flood aware'

Free mobile app launched from Know Your Flood Risk aims to help homeowners, property purchasers and professionals quickly identify potential risk

With the Met Office predicting wetter-than-average conditions for December and January, and many parts of the UK recovering from the arrival of the recent ‘weather bomb’ gales, the team at the Know Your Flood Risk campaign has announced the launch of a free-to-download Flood Risk mobile app to help individuals quickly assess whether they are at potential risk of flooding.

With the government pledging to publish more flood-related information to the wider public to improve the quality of public-focused services, the Flood Risk app, which is available to download from iTunes, provides an accurate view of current flood risk, using a range of data sources.

The app lets you input your postcode, where it will immediately assess the potential risk of flooding within a 25m zone of the given location.   The data is taken from Landmark Information Group’s ‘Know Your Flood Risk®’ report, which uses current data sources from National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA), the Environment Agency and surface water flooding data from JBA risk management.
 Flood Risk app
Mary Dhonau, Chief Executive of the Know Your Flood Risk campaign said: “Having been flooded on several occasions, I can personally vouch that being flooded is an absolutely appalling experience! Flood risk is not an issue just for those that live by the sea or near a river, but can affect homes as a result of surface water flooding, which many people don’t expect or plan for.  I therefore urge everyone to take a look at the app so they can instantly see whether they may be considered at risk.  Forewarned is forearmed, therefore if you fully understand your risk, you can plan prepare and take moves to protect against it.”

As well as providing a mapped view of a location’s flood risk, the Flood Risk app also provides access to live UK Flood Warnings from the Environment Agency, in addition to access to a free ‘Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Resilience’. This Guide offers practical advice on how homeowners can prevent and protect their home from flooding. It is also possible for users to purchase a detailed Flood Risk Report via the app, should they require a more detailed analysis of their home’s flood risk.
 Flood Risk app
According to the Environment Agency, approximately 5.2 million properties in England – which equates to on one in every six properties – is at risk of flooding. Of these, 2.4 million properties are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, while a further 2.8 million properties are considered vulnerable to surface water flooding.
 Flood Risk app
The Know Your Flood Risk Campaign provides consumers and professionals with a range of resources to help them prepare for, or mitigate the risk of flooding.  For more information, visit
 Know Your Flood Risk

To download the app, click on:

Bristol playtime is restored thanks to 300+ strong Landmark volunteer group

340 employees from across Landmark recently joined forces with Splash Projects and Learning Partnership West (LPW) to breathe new life into adventure playgrounds in two of Bristol’s most deprived neighbourhoods.  St Pauls and Southmead Adventure Playgrounds are situated in some of the city’s most densely urbanised areas, and much of the playground equipment was old, worn-out and in desperate need of replacement.

To get the job done, our 300+ strong team of Landmarkers took to work over two cold wet days in November on repairing the grounds, as well as restoring and installing new play equipment, creating fun and safe environments for children and families to play.

Julia Lovell, Landmark’s HR Director, shared her experiences from the day:
“When the coach arrived at the playground site in St Pauls we were greeted by the teams from Splash and LPW who briefed us on what we needed to achieve over two days.

“We were put into teams to focus on each section and joined forces to dig, paint, build and refurbish the existing facilities.  My team of twelve were responsible for installing a new clatter bridge, platform and a slide.  Although it was hard work there was a fantastic atmosphere of camaraderie, and while it might have been a bit slippery and muddy underfoot, it was great to see that the weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.” 

Landmark’s Commercial Director Greg Bryce, was at the Southmead site, and his team was challenged to renovate the outdoor classrooms and create a new picnic area:

“The whole team was energised by the lively atmosphere, spurred on by working on a real life social project. It’s been incredibly rewarding to know that every single one of us played a vital role in providing a safe environment  for children to get outdoors, keep fit, develop their social skills and let their imaginations run wild. We’re proud that the two adventure parks will continue to provide a source of creative development to local families well into the future.”

The handover was completed on the evening of Thursday, 27th November with Landmark’s CEO Mark Milner, along with Ashley Ward Councillors Rob Telford & Gus Hoyt, Nicola Burcham (CEO LPW), and Colin Robertson (Project Director, Splash Projects).

Mark Milner, CEO of Landmark commented: “We wanted to help LPW completely renovate and provide new activities at the St Pauls and Southmead sites. Our staff travelled from across the country to make this happen; from London, Brighton, Reading, Godalming, Exeter, the North East and North West. They were all given time off from their day jobs to put on their overalls and get stuck in, from painting and cleaning through to general repairs. It really was a fantastic effort from all involved.”

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Landmark revolutionises Phase 1 environmental assessments with Envirocheck Analysis mobile app

·         New mobile app for Apple and Android devices enables full digitisation of Phase 1 environmental site assessments
·         Remote access to current maps, aerial photography and potential environmental risks now available whilst conducting a physical site walkover
·         Geo-locating technology can pinpoint specific site features and take accurate measurements
·         Synchronises information from site walkover back to the office, so no need to write- up notes

We are pleased to confirm the official launch of Envirocheck Analysis mobile app: a brand new mobile app for Apple and Android devices that enables environmental consultants and other land and property professionals to access digital mapping and environmental data whilst undertaking site walkovers for Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments.

Consultants can digitally analyse current and historical maps, aerial photography and environmental data on their PCs using Envirocheck Analysis,  and now using the free-to-download mobile app they can view these complete workings (including mapping, photography, user-drawn features and environmental data analysis) whilst out onsite. 

Using built-in GPS and geo-locating technology, precise measurements are also recorded by the app, providing accurate reporting of key site features. The ability to synchronise this new information back to Envirocheck Analysis in the office, including digital notes, photos and videos captured on the mobile app, removes the need to manually collate and type up notes and is a real time-saver. 

One of the first clients to use the Envirocheck Analysis mobile app is Land Quality Management's Paul Nathanail, he comments: “In property transactions time is money. The Envirocheck Analysis mobile app represents a step-change in the way site walkover information is captured and transmitted back to the office. Interpretation and reporting can begin as soon as the visit is finished. Decisions can be made quicker; deals will happen and not be stalled.

Mark Burnard, Senior Product Manager at Landmark Information Group, adds: “With Envirocheck Analysis and the new mobile app, we’re taking the environmental site assessment process from being a paper-based task to a fully digital process.  The app provides users with mapping, data, information-capture tools and unsurpassable connectivity immediately at their fingertips.  It digitises the entire data collection and analysis process for Phase 1 environmental site assessments, removing the need to manually write-up notes, measure site details or rekey data on returning to the office.  Now, all site walkover notes are instantly ‘synced’ back to the Envirocheck Analysis desktop, streamlining the reporting process for all involved.”

Concludes Mark Burnard: “The launch of the Envirocheck Analysis mobile app is an important step forward in delivering a truly mobile environmental analysis solution.  By having access to data, map layers and notes in one place, consultants can now complete a site walkover with just a smartphone in their hand.  It’s a huge time-saver, delivers enhanced accuracy and ultimately will help provide time, cost and efficiency savings for both our current customers and new ones too.

For more information on Envirocheck Analysis and the Envirocheck Analysis mobile app, visit, telephone 0844 844 9952 or email   

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Charitable Agility

A blog from Jonathan Eversett, Senior Systems Analyst at Landmark Information Group:
"The company I work for is big on Corporate Social Responsibility, so over two days last week everyone at Landmark Information Group had the opportunity to do a day’s work for a charity to improve two playgrounds in Bristol. 

In order to make sure we could still have a business operating over the course of the build, we were divided into four groups i.e. one group for each site for each day, where a group consisted of roughly 75 people, and each site had eight different activities. Our organisers engaged a company called Splash Projects who specialise in running team building events and the design for the parks had been done with a great deal of input from the children who use them.
Ok, so what does this have to do with Agile? Well, like many things in life, it’s there if you look for it.
Team sizes ranged from four to thirteen people from Landmark, so not always the optimum Scrum team size, and one member of the Splash team with a member of staff from the charity on-hand all day too, so in agile terms we ended up with pretty good representations of Scrum in most teams. Landmark employees became the Development Team, as we were responsible for the creation of the product; the Splash guys billed themselves as Project Managers and they certainly do have those skills, however looking at how they worked with us then it is clear to me that they were the teams’ Scrum Masters. The staff members from the charity were our Product Owners and the children who has designed the new play park and who turned up after school to check on our progress and help clear up, were our stakeholders.
The “Scrum Masters” had the plans (i.e. the Sprint Goal), which they shared with us, and explained the priorities attached to the various tasks to ensure that the job would be completed on time, with the most important work being done first. The Sprint Goal was to complete the slide section which meant completing the bridge which connected a raised platform to the main walkway, finishing the platform and attaching the slide. 

In addition to these high level goals we had to ensure that we implemented specific business rules too, for example when adding railings to the platform we had to ensure they were between 25-89mm apart with a gap at the bottom of 25mm. I was in two minds whether this role was Scrum Master or Product Owner and I finally decided that the guys from Splash were fulfilling the Scrum Master role for two reasons. Firstly, they were ensuring that we followed the process, which in this case was the plan for the slide and to ensure that we met an acceptable definition of Done, but secondly, and crucially, they told us what we needed to do but did not tell us how we should do it. Although advice was given when requested.
Our Development Team were made of women and men from different offices so although we knew each other, few of us had worked closely together but good collaboration and communication would play a key part in the success of the project. Plenty of the team had experience of these kind of DIY projects and these multi-skilled developers were able to turn their hands to a wide variety of tasks. 

Those with slightly more limited skills were able to contribute by picking up new skills and ensuring that the batteries for the drills were kept charged up or bringing the building materials to the build site thereby ensuring the site was kept tidy and that a smooth flow of work could be maintained. As a team we collaborated very effectively to ensure we met our goal but we also had to collaborate with other teams on the site as some of the tools had to be shared across teams and success was judged on the overall site not on any one project.
For me, the most rewarding aspect of the day was that we were allowed to own the problem we were tackling. We had plenty of guidance and coaching from our “Scrum Master” in terms of ensuring we met of Definition of Done, and fulfilled all the necessary requirements. We were told that the old slide needed to be demolished to make space, and we that needed to keep the metal sheet to re-use on the new one BUT our self-organising team had to work out how to reinstall the slide against the new platform which had a different height and orientation to the old one. 
On several occasions we had to adapt the plan in the light of the real world situation such as digging a hole to ensure the large slide still fitted. Even when digging the hole we initially expected earth and stones but immediately hit some previously forgotten rubber matting placed years before and long since overgrown so we had to work out the most efficient way of removing it – it turns out that shovels won’t work but secateurs do a great job!
So, we had a Goal and a Backlog of requirements, a Development Team, a Scrum Master and Product Owner and a whole load of eager stakeholders - plus two days to do something genuinely worthwhile. 

While I can’t say this is the perfect metaphor for Agile we had all the elements for a successful collaboration to deliver a meaningful project and above all the team took the opportunity to own the build and adapt the plan to the conditions on the ground in a truly agile fashion. All in all it was a great day!"

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Flood Defence Spending: BBC Radio Five Live

In advance of the Flood Defence Expo (4-5 December, London Excel), Mary Dhonau, chief executive of the Know Your Flood Risk campaign was invited as a guest on to BBC Radio Five Live's Breakfast show to discuss today's news regarding a £2.3bn investment in flood defences.

In an interview with Adam Parsons, Mary Dhonau discusses what the £2.3bn investment will mean for certain regions of the UK, which has been announced by the Treasury as part of the 2014 National Infrastructure Plan.

The full interview can be listened to using the BBC Five Live 'listen again' feature, during the next four weeks: - (click to 01:49:00)

Mary Dhonau OBE
For more details regarding the Treasury's announcement, click here:

For more details regarding the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign, or to access a free Flood Resilience Guide, visit: