Belford flood defences highlighted as national example to copy
FUTURISTIC flood defences in Belford have been highlighted as a prime example of the work being undertaken by the Environment Agency to keep up with the increasing threat of floods.
With climate change, more and more properties are likely to be at risk of flooding but the Environment Agency says that simply building bigger walls is not the answer.
Instead, they believe innovative - and cheaper - solutions such as those installed in Belford are the answer.
The village used to suffer frequent flooding, including five floods from 2007 to 2009, when rain ran off nearby farmland but a combination of ponds to store flood water and planted woodland to slow the flow of water have been installed, which are both cheap and effective ways to protect against flooding.
In some areas, bands of willow have been laid across the floodplain, called ‘willow hurdles’ to add further roughness. In places this has doubled the amount of time taken for water to travel downstream.
The Environment Agency is now assessing whether similar techniques could be used on other catchments around the country.
Pete Fox, head of strategy and investment at the Environment Agency, said: “We are increasingly looking at more innovative ways of dealing with flooding, such as glass walls and self raising barriers, as well as softer defences such as using purpose-built ponds to store flood water, and building in better drainage for towns and cities.”
Advances in flood warning and forecasting, as well as investment in flood defences, has meant that this summer over 53,000 people were protected from flooding, while over 100,000 flood warnings were sent out, giving people extra time to prepare their homes and businesses for flooding.
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Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 7 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west