River Basin and Flood Risk plans – Environment Agency consultations

The Environment Agency is seeking views on proposals to improve the water environment and protect communities from flood risk in England.

They would like your input on updates to river basin management plans and flood risk management plans. Once agreed, these plans will shape decisions, direct investment and action and deliver significant benefits for society and the environment.

River basin management plans set out long term objectives for the quality of the water environment. They identify the condition of rivers, lakes and coastal waters and the pressures on them. The plans provide evidence that will help those with an interest in the water environment to agree where improvements can be made.

Flood risk management plans describe the risk of flooding from rivers, the sea, surface water, groundwater and reservoirs. They set out how the Environment Agency, local councils and water companies will work together, with communities, to manage flood risk.

These links will also explain how to respond to consultations in river basin districts which cross borders with Scotland and Wales.

The formal closing date for the flood risk management plan consultation is 31 January 2015, while the river basin management plan consultations will run for six months, ending on 10 April 2015.

Nation’s biggest inland flood defence opened in Nottingham

A new £45 million flood defence, which will protect more inland properties than any other in England, was opened today in Nottingham by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. Stretching along a 27 kilometre stretch of the River Trent, from Sawley to Colwick, the flood defence will protect 16,000 homes and businesses, as well as roads and factories at the heart of the communities. Read more on the DeFRA website… 

Flood update

The Environment Agency is continuing to keep a close watch on river levels as well as checking defences and clearing any potential blockages to reduce the risk of flooding. Whilst the Met Office has been forecasting some heavy rain throughout the morning – which could lead to localised flooding – there are no significant concerns.
Environment Agency flood defence schemes across the country have protected thousands of properties. An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We are urging people to stay safe and be prepared. People can sign up for the Environment Agency’s free flood warnings service and keep up to date by checking our website, looking out for updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or calling us on 0845 988 1188.”
The Environment Agency is warning of the dangers of flood water. People should keep away from swollen rivers, and not attempt to walk or drive through them. Read more on the Environment Agency website…

Villagers invited to share views about flood management scheme

Residents of a village in Essex are being invited to share their views on the latest designs for a scheme to help protect Chelmsford from flooding.
The Environment Agency and Chelmsford Council want to hear what people think about the latest proposals ahead of submitting the planning application.
The Chelmsford Flood Alleviation Scheme is needed to reduce the risk of future flooding to over 1,200 existing commercial and residential properties. Read more on the Environment Agency website…

23,000 tonnes of rock to be put in place for Medmerry Sea defence scheme

Subject to favourable weather conditions, the final shipment of the 23,000 tonnes of rock that will be used in the Medmerry sea defence scheme will be delivered onto the beach this week. In order to carry out the construction work, access to sections of the beach at either end of the scheme is restricted. The closure of these sections of beach will be minimised whilst this essential work is carried out, especially as there are no alternative routes across this beach. When the project is finally complete the Medmerry frontage between Selsey and Bracklesham will have over 7km of new sea defences, situated further inland than the existing shingle bank. The scheme will also create important new wildlife rich wetlands to offset the anticipated loss of protected intertidal habitats in the Solent over the coming 100 years. It will also open up carefully devised new public access for local communities and visitors to enjoy. Andrew Gilham, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said:
“Input from the community has been invaluable in shaping the way in which the project will be delivered as well as their enthusiasm on the added environmental benefits it will bring to the area. We will continue to work closely with community groups, local authorities and our partner environmental organisations, such as the RSPB, throughout construction of this ambitious project.”
The scheme covers the area of more than 300 football pitches and, in addition to new defences, will include new public footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways, two small car parks, and four viewpoints. Read more on the Environment Agency website…

£100,000 fund to help farmers protect wildlife and manage flood risk

Farmers and rural communities across England are set to benefit from nearly £100,000 to reduce the risk of flooding, maintain farmland and create new wildlife habitats, Environment Minister Richard Benyon announced today as he unveiled the 12 successful projects who bid for DeFRA funding.

Twelve local Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) across England have been awarded extra funding to support innovative projects which protect communities or improve the local natural environment. Read more on the DeFRA website…

Exercise Watermark to test the UK’s flood response capability

The largest flood defence exercise ever held in the UK took part at the start of March. Exercise Watermark involved thousands of people from the emergency services, councils and utility firms. A series of scenarios across England and Wales test the authorities’ ability to co-ordinate.

Exercise Watermark cost £1.8m and involved around 10,000 people, 10 government departments, emergency services, utility companies, and communities. It comes on the back of heavy criticism received in the official review by Sir Michael Pitt on the 2007 floods which devastated parts of Yorkshire, the Midlands, and the West Country. Read more on the Exercise Watermark website…