Communities can team work against flooding

Flooded land between Althorpe and Keadby.  (Buy this photo E1675TS) Picture: Tony Saxton

Flooded land between Althorpe and Keadby. (Buy this photo E1675TS) Picture: Tony Saxton

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Residents in the Isle who suffered from floods 16 months ago can log on to a free guide that aims to help rural communities protect themselves from flooding.

The Community Guide to Your Water Environment offers guidance on how communities can work with local authorities, drainage boards, farmers and the Environment Agency to reduce flooding risk and drought through a process called integrated local delivery.

The help list was produced by Action with Communities in Rural England together with the Farming Wildlife Advisory Group, the National Farmers Union and the Countryside and Community Research Institute.

Also supported by DEFRA, the guide aims to help communities understand the potential impact of extreme weather.

It features a step-by-step guide to developing a community project to manage your water, details of resources that can help, and case studies of communities who have seen success in caring for water environments.

There’s also advice on getting your own house in order, including saving water, keeping a healthy septic tank, avoiding pollution, use of garden chemicals and blocked drains.

ACRE’s head of rural insight Nick Chase said: “The floods of recent years got many local communities thinking about how they could protect their villages.

“However, people are confused by the number of individuals, agencies and authorities involved in managing the water environment. There’s a genuine lack of knowledge about how to take local action to map ditches, rivers, meadows and streams to see how they might be better managed to work within their natural ecosystem.

“This new guide sets out to put communities on the right path to working with others to be more prepared for extreme events, such as flooding and droughts, while protecting the purity and biodiversity of local waterways.”

Jenny Phelps, of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, said that land management plays a vital role and that farmers often have essential knowledge and resource to help manage the local environment. Communities need to value and work with the farming community from the start,” she added. Download the guide, sponsored by Enzygo Limited, free from www.acre.org.uk.