River Lugg, Herefordshire

honeyend

Member
I used to live on the edge of a flood plain, our house was, 'the most likely to flood in the village', the EA came and took levels and somewhere I have a copy of the report with our house and drive on the front. The house was built after the 1947 flood levels, the whole of the nearby town would flood first, its has never flooded, although other houses in the villages have, recently. We used to pay a huge amount for insurance on a house that had no history of flooding.
There was a BBC programme about Capability Brown and what the land he owned would have looked like if he had landscaped it, missing out it would have been under water for perhaps three months of the year or more, that area still has water meadows, and an old osier bed.
As a child I spent hours on the beach making dam and pools and I have come to the conclusion that most of the experts haven't got a clue how water really works, and in my experience I would not believe anything the EA experts said. 1/2inch makes the difference between some land flooding or not, they look at their readings and ignore what their eyes see which can change from season to season. After living over thirty years on the edge of the fens it always amazes me how each flood is slightly different in the land it affects, although the close surrounding land looks unchanged.
The IDB only does it seems the easy work, if they can not get a man and a digger in, they leave it, and because of covid it will get left for longer. We sort our own drains out, the DB digger driver annoys me so much I would not pay them to do it.
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
The EA are chronically underfunded and also caught in a cleft-stick between groups lobbying for more flood defence (who largely don't have a clue about flood defence) and environmental groups (who again largely don't have a clue either).
Both groups shout pretty loudly and because all any government cares about is winning votes, whoever is getting the most public sympathy normally wins, regardless of if what is being proposed is a good idea or not.
Found money for a court case but dont seem to want to answer the farmers weeklys FOI request for a run down of costs so far of the case. If the EA has two groups shouting loudly who both no sfa why dont they ignore both and do what there paid for instead of doing nothing and making excuses
 
Farmers and landowners are not the only ones affected but private individuals who do not pay water rates. A drain which flows under my land but does not gather water from my plot, drains a large corner of the village. the drain then runs about 150 yards under anothe field and then out into the river. For much of winter 20/21 the top of the drain outfall was up to two feet under water and five meters downstream was a fallen tree. That tree is still present and so is the silt build up. Years ago when the river received annual light maintenance the winter rain flushed away any minor obstructions but now it is a job for a sizeable machine employed at great expense and, in the short term at least, highly destructive.
Our drainage board hides behind the fact that the greens don`t like dredging but the reality is that they won`t spend money and their employees don`t do physical work.. In the past our local small river was maintained by two men making an annual pass with muck rakes and forks. They could cover anything up to two miles in a day. There were no 360 diggers and I never saw a dragline working there.

It is a shame. The DB on the levels have detailed plans for rotationally cleaning out the rhynes and it's all done carefully. On one farm I saw they pretty much doubled the depth of the stretch they were working on. The material dug out covered a stretch of land 6 metres wide and 2 feet deep. They didn't fudge about there. In other areas they just cut out the reeds using one of those cutter buckets the name of which escapes me.
 

Raider112

Member
Or to bring some facts into the conversation to counter the opinions that 'Mr. Price is a farmer and therefor must have done the right thing...'

Let's just run over the FACTS again:-

  1. Mr. Price, the EA and Kingsland Parish Council held a joint meeting where it was agreed by all parties that Mr. Price could unblock a river arch and carryout silt removal and bank reporfiling immediately upstream of said river arch
  2. Mr. Price proceeded to carry out bank reprofiling, channel straightening and deepening and removal of bankside vegetation, trees etc. over a length of 1.5km (not 'immediately upstream' as had been agreed). It should be noted that no official permits or agreements were in place to consent these works.
  3. The site is an SSSI (the assumption being that Mr. Price would have known this and therefore been aware of additional permits and agreements required to carry out any works)
  4. Mr. Price was in possession of a tree filing license. The Forestry Commission did not bring a case against him.
  5. Mr. Price used a bulldozer over some lengths of the river which destroyed the river substrate
  6. Mr. Price subsequently carried out more works approximately a year later despite having being issued with a Stop Notice by a Court
  7. Mr. Price was convicted and fined £10,000 in 2007 for unauthorised waterways works
  8. Mr. Price has pleaded guilty to all charges.
Now feel free to pile in with any opinions you like, but the above is a matter of record and cannot be argued against.
This may be the facts of the case but all the questions to you lately have been about facts of flooding/dredging/maintenance/good practice/common sense etc.
You can call them opinions if you like but history suggests they prevented flooding and current flooding occurrences suggest the modern policy isn't working.
You were asked about one of the best examples, the Somerset levels, not sure if I missed your response, you haven't got round to it yet or if you simply can't argue with the 'facts'
 

Chris123

Member
Location
Shropshire
6ED0EC91-D6BA-4D81-AF24-982197D71464.jpeg
 

Chris123

Member
Location
Shropshire
That looks like a good result to me.

Does look like the gravel is building up in front of that critical third arch mind😁
Clear under the arch the gravel angles back in to the bank before it.
Guilty of doing a good job I would say.
perhaps should of planted a few token trees on the bank and would have looked even better
 

jellybean

Member
Location
N.Devon
It is a shame. The DB on the levels have detailed plans for rotationally cleaning out the rhynes and it's all done carefully. On one farm I saw they pretty much doubled the depth of the stretch they were working on. The material dug out covered a stretch of land 6 metres wide and 2 feet deep. They didn't fudge about there. In other areas they just cut out the reeds using one of those cutter buckets the name of which escapes me.
That would be a Bradshaw bucket. Many years ago I had a Hymac 580B and did some ditching down on Sedgemoor. Having been brought up on peat land further north in Somerset I do like that type of land but there are horrors down on the serious peat. Patches of quicksand can catch you out until you learn to see the different shade of green in the grass that sits on top; you don't want to stop in one place for long. One day after ditching and my first experience of the piece of ground the digger was on breaking away and sliding into the ditch I was talking to the farmer and said there was quicksand underneath. He said "yes, the last chap lost his machine, he got the bucket and dipper arm off before it disappeared."
Great, thanks for telling me now!
 
That would be a Bradshaw bucket. Many years ago I had a Hymac 580B and did some ditching down on Sedgemoor. Having been brought up on peat land further north in Somerset I do like that type of land but there are horrors down on the serious peat. Patches of quicksand can catch you out until you learn to see the different shade of green in the grass that sits on top; you don't want to stop in one place for long. One day after ditching and my first experience of the piece of ground the digger was on breaking away and sliding into the ditch I was talking to the farmer and said there was quicksand underneath. He said "yes, the last chap lost his machine, he got the bucket and dipper arm off before it disappeared."
Great, thanks for telling me now!

I've seen some of that funny peat type land ploughed before. It was not pretty I can tell you.
 

arcobob

Member
Location
Norfolk
It is a shame. The DB on the levels have detailed plans for rotationally cleaning out the rhynes and it's all done carefully. On one farm I saw they pretty much doubled the depth of the stretch they were working on. The material dug out covered a stretch of land 6 metres wide and 2 feet deep. They didn't fudge about there. In other areas they just cut out the reeds using one of those cutter buckets the name of which escapes me.
They are indeed hamfisted and without expertise. The big problem is if they cannot sit on their arse in a machine they cannot operate.
 

robs1

Member
The field in question didn't flood regularly and was not part of the functional floodplain, the reason so much property flooded this time was because of the fallen tree causing a dam 300m downstream, the EA claim they inspect the drain twice yearly but the blockage had apparently been there for 18 months, so the EA should be up in court for negligence but of course they have their fall back position of 'permissive powers' so they don't actually have to clear anything.
You are right that the Morrisons was to be built on stilts but they raised the bank protecting the field instead (cheaper option) the McDonald's site didn't raise the bank and that's why they flooded along with may houses the other side of the drain
While they may not "have" to do anything in law they are still liable if negligent which if it can be shown that the tree was there when they inspected it then as " experts " they will have known it would cause a flood
 

Two Tone

Member
Mixed Farmer
Large areas of black fen were drained and ploughed up in Norfolk and Cambs by the WARAG. With the exception of small areas they had never beeen cultivated befoe. They never were allowed to re-wild, with the exception of small sanctuaries and the peat has largely oxidised and disappeared.
An old farmer friend in the Methwold area told me haw, as a young lad . He travelled by horse and wagon with his parents and their belongins to farm this land. He slept for much of the journey and when they arrived he awoke in the midst of what he described as a wilderness The land soon fell under the plough and the biggest problem were the semi fossilised bog oaks which lay below the surface. This problem got worse for a number of years because, as the land dried out the peat oxidised and shrank and more oaks emerged year by year.
In 1969 I surveyed a large area of this fen to determine the levels of carrot fly infestation. The ditches were 8 to 10 feet deep and the depth of peat was clearly visible at at least 6 feet in many places. Those ditches are now scarcely 4 feet deep and the peat is seldom more than a foot.
Who is to say that, under the circumstances, this should not have happened but it is certain that the original landscape will never revert in many thousands, if not millions of years. In well under 100 years this heritage was lost forever, largely because of a lack of food security. at the outbreak of war. This situation now exists with energy and perhaps may again do so with food and manufactured goods.
While much of the world is governed by dictators from whom we obtain essential needs it is a sure fact that we must not become complacent.
There is a really good book written by a chap called Alan Bloom (yes he founded Blooms Nurseries and Bressingham Gardens). The book is called “The Farm in the Fen” and was published in 1944.
He took over Priory Farm, Burwell just before the war and The WARAG wanted him to reclaim the farm and part of Wicken Fen to produce vital food for the war.
It is a fascinating book and he certainly learned a lot about drainage and what obstructs it.
Well worth a read if you can get hold of it. The last chapter is as true today as it was then.

So impressed by what he had achieved, the WARAG invited King George and Queen Elizabeth to visit the farm to see what had been achieved. They came to it by a barge.

If there is one phrase from the book that the EA needs to learn, it is that “You cannot push water up hill”!
If you try to do so, it will build up behind a blockage flooding everywhere until it can get over and above that blockage.
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The EA are chronically underfunded and also caught in a cleft-stick between groups lobbying for more flood defence (who largely don't have a clue about flood defence) and environmental groups (who again largely don't have a clue either).
Both groups shout pretty loudly and because all any government cares about is winning votes, whoever is getting the most public sympathy normally wins, regardless of if what is being proposed is a good idea or not.

So which group are you in?
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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