Do we need to bring back the NRA

Gill Horse

Member
Location
lancashire
I know that we can't stop flooding in every instance, and I know that weather events appear to be getting more severe but when I was a kid the National Rivers Authority cleaned and maintained the local water courses every year with the sole objective to keep the water flowing freely out to sea ( which is where it ultimately ends up )
Ever since the Environment agency was created and the NRA disbanded/taken over, the EA have slowly withdrawn maintenance to what seems like a point of virtually non existence round here now. I have been to many an EA meeting and I'm quite frankly sick and tired of listening to talk about holding water back and letting it drain away slowly/naturally
This might be fine if we got slow and steady rain fall but we often get heavy rainfall events and they seem to be getting worse. I don't understand the EA's mindset of what appears to be withholding maintenance and water flow for the benefit of the Environment as a whole. Surely a lot of water voles must have drowned in the last month or so.
Basically there are many many properties, farms and businesses that depend on the water flowing to where it naturally wants to go ( back out to sea )
Yes the environment is important and maybe the EA should be there to oversee that environmental issues/impacts are taken into consideration but surely it makes sense to have a National Rivers Authority who's overriding job is to make sure that the water keeps flowing out to sea in the most efficient way possible? ?
 

Bald Rick

Moderator
Livestock Farmer
Location
Anglesey
Come on .. you know it’s all farmers fault for overgrazing the uplands

In truth, it comes down to money and it is very easy to talk about allowing a slower flow to sea. What they really mean is budget cuts have stopped us dredging and it’s all the planners fault for allowing building on flood plains

Btw some of the flooded farms in the Don valley looked in a bad way from the glimpses seen on the 6 o’clock news last night. Poor buggers
 

Kidds

Member
Horticulture
The answer is yes, we do. Sack half the EA and replace them with people who know how to drive a digger.
I disagree, they should sack more like 3/4’s of them and put the digger drivers on piecework.
Last EA digger driver I saw de silting the local brook took a whole day to change buckets. It is that kind of practice that needs removing, from what I have seen they spend more time asleep in the “comfort van” than in the digger.
There used to be a gang of four that did the work manually, they weren’t exactly hard working but they got more done that the man on the digger that replaced them FFS!
 
Come on .. you know it’s all farmers fault for overgrazing the uplands

In truth, it comes down to money and it is very easy to talk about allowing a slower flow to sea. What they really mean is budget cuts have stopped us dredging and it’s all the planners fault for allowing building on flood plains

Btw some of the flooded farms in the Don valley looked in a bad way from the glimpses seen on the 6 o’clock news last night. Poor buggers


The EA have squandered cash like no other. I'd be interested to know what the top brass get paid and how many people now work for them. I bet they are given more money each year to chase newts than the NRA were ever given.

A man and digger is not that expensive to hire even. The truth is that they have done zero drainage for over 15 years and all they do it cut reeds which is not enough.
 

digger64

Member
It's OTE="Kidds, post: 6632658, member: 5589"]
I disagree, they should sack more like 3/4’s of them and put the digger drivers on piecework.
Last EA digger driver I saw de silting the local brook took a whole day to change buckets. It is that kind of practice that needs removing, from what I have seen they spend more time asleep in the “comfort van” than in the digger.
There used to be a gang of four that did the work manually, they weren’t exactly hard working but they got more done that the man on the digger that replaced them FFS!
[/QUOTE]
Its not them it's the supervisors and management , the older ones are really disallusioned the younger ones have never known any different , they aren't allowed to do their trade or make commonsense decisions in terms of organisation or actually operating . They are extremely influenced by politically correct NGO interfering .
After the mess in Somerset we said why don't you learn from that ?, they said that the money to sort that out was simply removed the budgets elsewhere and financed by neglecting other areas , they use wildlife and climate change as an excuse for any criticism.
Personally I think it's only a matter of time before something really catastrophic happens on a really large scale .
 
I disagree, they should sack more like 3/4’s of them and put the digger drivers on piecework.
Last EA digger driver I saw de silting the local brook took a whole day to change buckets. It is that kind of practice that needs removing, from what I have seen they spend more time asleep in the “comfort van” than in the digger.
There used to be a gang of four that did the work manually, they weren’t exactly hard working but they got more done that the man on the digger that replaced them FFS!

Sounds like they send their plant operator to a national training school...

Got a local maintenance gang who worked for a private outfit, paid on a linear basis for many years before the cutbacks" and they had an impressive work rate... The EA "approved" bunch that were doing some work on a watercourse here last year for STW were an embarrassment, slow, unsafe and poor operators. They also came in at nearly 3 times the price I had negotiated for a local driver with a long reach 360 before it was decided that the task was not my responsibility!! I would have billed them, but a lot less!

TBH, if the EA would just FOAD, farmers would soon sort the rivers locally in many areas... That same long reach 360 with a good driver will cover many km in short order.

We had a farmer led move to remove fallen tress and low branches on a local river locally that worked well, Looked brutal in some instances initially, but at least the water now keeps moving!
 
Location
salop
Here in the Roden Tern river area there has been no maintenance done since the NRA finished. The rivers are shockingly neglected . Even my neighbouring farmers dont do anything. I do drag fallen trees out about once a year but I think I am the only one who does, One of my friends works for the EA and he says the level of apathy and incompetence is scary.
 
I dunno why they don't just work out how much length of channel there is on each adjacent farm holding and pay farmers a set fee per metre. Most farmers would jump at the chance and soon get their own machine or a contractor in to sort it over winter whilst the vegetation has died back and you can see what you are doing. Be cheaper for the tax payer and it would help the local economy because no one can do the job cheaper than a farmer can. They can then send the clipboards around to make sure the job has been done and fine anyone who hasn't done it.
 
Here in the Roden Tern river area there has been no maintenance done since the NRA finished. The rivers are shockingly neglected . Even my neighbouring farmers dont do anything. I do drag fallen trees out about once a year but I think I am the only one who does, One of my friends works for the EA and he says the level of apathy and incompetence is scary.


It was the same in Somerset since the EA took over. Not a single bit of maintenance was done for years under their tenure and then of course the levels flooded and there was uproar. It will happen again and again around different parts of the country. The EA top brass should all be sacked but not until they have spent 2 weeks in waders clearing up the silt and gunge that has invaded people's homes.
 

Paddington

Member
Location
Soggy Shropshire
We went to a water management (flooding) talk by the EA a few years ago. Although the land around here is easily over 600ft ASL we still have regular problems with flooding. They had a working model of the EA's preferred method of flood (sorry, water management ) control which consisted of slowing the rivers and watercourses down and letting the water be spread over surrounding fields, where in time it would seep back into the streams etc and out to sea. A model meandering river had a pile of matchsticks in it to represent flood blockage units. A few seconds playing with the matchsticks and I had created a real flood situation over the hall floor. Despite me protesting the "fields" hadn't taken up the water, I was told to sit down and not touch anything, while someone went off to get a mop.
I would say the EA recieved a certain amount of hostility from local landowners and farmers, previous water control systems had fallen into disrepair or been removed, don't think I've ever seen any dredging carried out in the time we have lived here. I see them out on the riverbanks taking water samples sometimes, water purity is seen to be of greater importance than flood prevention. I think the council have a policy of no more than 3 or 4 ? council sandbags per household when flooding is forecasted and you have to collect these yourself.
 

Gill Horse

Member
Location
lancashire
Problem round here is the EA won't let farmers desilt the water courses
They have apparently taken on a new member of staff to go around looking for farmers doing unauthorised work and then issue them with fines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One local farmer offered to pay to get a specialist contractor with a long reach 360 to desilt a main waterway that hasn't been cleaned for many years and they wouldn't allow it because the silt is "contaminated"
Madness sheer madness
 

Gill Horse

Member
Location
lancashire
The way I see it is like this
As a country we are fighting flooding issues in lots of different places every year and it not just in the winter months
This is costing the UK economy an awful lot of money.
Sandbags, pumps, fire brigade, council cleaning up etc, I could go on and on
If the water courses were flowing at 100% efficiency I'd wager that we wouldn't have anywhere near the flooding issues
As a country we are trying to cure the symptoms and not the cause
 

Campani

Member
I know this is not a popular opinion on this forum. But dredging every bit of river and moving water on as fast as possible is not the best approach. I live near the top of the severn. Moving the water quickly from here just means shrewsbury and Gloucester get more water faster. Hardly a sensible approach to flooding. More areas need to be identified for flood storage and farmers paid appropriately.
 

digger64

Member
[QUOTE="Campani, post: 6632885, membersl]
I know this is not a popular opinion on this forum. But dredging every bit of river and moving water on as fast as possible is not the best approach. I live near the top of the severn. Moving the water quickly from here just means shrewsbury and Gloucester get more water faster. Hardly a sensible approach to flooding. More areas need to be identified for flood storage and farmers paid appropriately.
[/QUOTE]
Read post 7, in an upland area may be slowing the flow is beneficial I don't know , but if you still have yesterday's and last week's water what do you do with today's on a meandering flood plain ?
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
The way I see it is like this
As a country we are fighting flooding issues in lots of different places every year and it not just in the winter months
This is costing the UK economy an awful lot of money.
Sandbags, pumps, fire brigade, council cleaning up etc, I could go on and on
If the water courses were flowing at 100% efficiency I'd wager that we wouldn't have anywhere near the flooding issues
As a country we are trying to cure the symptoms and not the cause

Conversely one could argue that flooding is generating economic activity! An simply switching money from something else it could be spent on. All those new carpets and use of pumps etc provides employment and profit somewhere. As ever with macro economics somewhat complex.

Sorry, not being intentionally antagonistic.
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

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