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Thread: Somerset flooding

  1. #1
    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Somerset flooding


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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Many blame government cuts for not dredging, ignoring the obvious that dredging has been cut back for 30 years or more.
    but surely our drainage rates are to pay for dredging, where have they gone?
    what is the land drainage bill for the country?
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    WWF are apparently advocating that farmers be paid for allowing their land to be flooded (Radio 4 this morning) to hold water during spate conditions.

    My own flooding here was a microcosm of what happened on The Levels.

    The ditches were not cleaned (as WWF apparently wants) and minor flooding caused fertiliser from a re-seeded field to be leached into the ditch system. The fertiliser accelerated weed growth in the ditch impeding flow.

    DEFRA was warned that the ditches needed cleaning.

    The warning was ignored and the ditch declared "fit for purpose".

    The inevitable flooding followed the following Spring.

    DEFRA complaints procedure confirms what we already knew. They are not concerned about flooding, except where it causes erosion.

    No erosion on The Levels. Job done.

    Sacking a few might concentrate minds. Flooded soil is not healthy soil. Saturated soil can only absorb a very limited amount of extra flood water, if any. If the ditches and water courses are kept clean, the soil will be drier and better able to absorb water when there is excessive rainfall and no need to pay anyone to accept flood water.

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    Senior Member Henarar's Avatar
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    Re: Somerset flooding

    A chap from down on the levels told me 15 years ago that this was going to happen he was right
    Its the same problem as always to many no norts running the show,perhaps they should see the flooding real close up

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Rot View Post
    Flooded soil is not healthy soil. Saturated soil can only absorb a very limited amount of extra flood water, if any. If the ditches and water courses are kept clean, the soil will be drier and better able to absorb water when there is excessive rainfall and no need to pay anyone to accept flood water.
    This my concern.
    The last few weeks this concept of deliberately waterlogging has gained traction.
    In particular I've heard the example of 'Slowing the flow' programme at Pickering held up as what we should be doing as a natural flood reduction measure.
    They are quoting this as good practise yet the scheme hasn't even been installed yet alone proven effective!

    Though installing balancing pools might be helpful in flash flood situations in a long wet winter there will be little benefit once they are full.
    Also another big new idea is deliberately blocking natural streams with logs or even straw bales.
    I can see all this coming downstream and choking the bridges frankly.

    The main reason this is being promoted is less cost than proper defences and river maintenance where they have built in flood prone locations.
    Also there's a lot of rot coming from George Monbiot and The Guardian about the EU 'forcing upland farms' to destroy and remove trees.
    (this is a muddled reference to keeping land in good agricultural condition for SFP)

    If they looked at real figures I suspect more hedges have been planted than lost in livestock areas, and there must be a good deal more planted forest than 50 years ago in many areas too.
    Our natural woodlands were cleared first from the uplands as drainage was better - mostly thousands of years ago; they have been essential not wooded ever since, it certainly isn't some new thing causing problems lower down.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Rot View Post
    WWF are apparently advocating that farmers be paid for allowing their land to be flooded (Radio 4 this morning) to hold water during spate conditions.
    The way I heard it, (on BBC Breakfast news), WWF say farmers should not get money unless they allow flooding on their land.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    the reason the levels remain flooded must purely be to do with ditches and rivers restricting the water getting back out to sea

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Paw View Post
    The way I heard it, (on BBC Breakfast news), WWF say farmers should not get money unless they allow flooding on their land.


    That's What I heard also, to use Farmers SFP -Tax payers money used to hold up and keep each farms flood on their holding????

    25 square miles in Somerset ant'it , and riseing now ?

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Do I get extra money. I bet my ground could not hold another cup full of water and has been the same since christmas.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Presumably the whole river system would need major work to the coast or Bridgewater will be threatened. Is it not true that any land artificially drained by man is likely to pose a problem at some point.
    Ironic the other day with the RSPB whining that fresh water habitats have been damaged in Norfolk by lack of sea wall maintenance when down the coast at Walasea Island they are letting in the sea. I think they have just found the hen or two roosting instead of waders.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    Presumably the whole river system would need major work to the coast or Bridgewater will be threatened. Is it not true that any land artificially drained by man is likely to pose a problem at some point.
    Ironic the other day with the RSPB whining that fresh water habitats have been damaged in Norfolk by lack of sea wall maintenance when down the coast at Walasea Island they are letting in the sea. I think they have just found the hen or two roosting instead of waders.
    Pete - Bridgwater is only 10 miles or so from me. There's a very good argument it should be washed away .

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    We farm around 1000 acres in the home counties and around a bit..... when I was at school the Thames conservancy would arrive once a year to maintain the river coln and the coln brooke.
    They would arrive with a punt and somtines a reed cutting craft and a ford 5000 tracor with winch and fore loader. The trees would be trimmed and the weeds and reeds in the river would be cut and harvested.
    When deemed necessary an excavator would arrive in the autumn and dredge the parts earmarked with excess silt by the maintenance team.
    This outfit then became the National rivers authority, and now the Environment Agency.
    Now I have contracted to these bodies and know the so called specialist and consevation consultants have crackpot ideas that are taken on board by the powers that be and accepted because it meant limited expenditure and thus the Government saved money, as they were ever decreasing the budgets the top management in the environtment agency used this consevartion tactic to avoid dredging and actual water course maintenance.

    My latest theory is that the government wanted to cut budgets to ease spending through lack of funds available, due to total incompetance.
    One area of big saving was the national river network. EA stop dredging ..... floods and vast costly damage have ever been mounting over the last decade. So who picks up the bill now .... the whole country... not the government. Our insurance premioums have gone through the roof due to This kind of cost cutting. Government still don't maintain the water courses ..... the insurance picks up the pieces and we pick up the tab !! My father, whom was a flood warden and knows full well what is happening has given advice to the loacal tiver authorities many times .... to be totally ignored time after time ..... when the last bad floods in the village flooded many homes the agency got caught out ... and so made many excuses as to why the floods were so bad, spending over a million pounds in totally unnecessary flood eleviation works to back up their bollo !!!! Guess what ? they still havn't dredged the 4' of silt out of a 1/2 mile of river.
    If you don't dredge rivers the water in the ground wil never be able to drain in order to accomodate the next wet season.
    The Maidenhead flood relief channel cost over £200 million !!! totally unnecessary as the upper area that flooded in Maidenhead was minor compared to the flooding that has taken place below the out fall of this waste of tax payers money. If you live next to the sea or rivers be prepared to deal with nature, build your house on raised formation don't expect others to carry the cost !!!

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Rot View Post
    Sacking a few might concentrate minds. Flooded soil is not healthy soil. Saturated soil can only absorb a very limited amount of extra flood water, if any. If the ditches and water courses are kept clean, the soil will be drier and better able to absorb water when there is excessive rainfall and no need to pay anyone to accept flood water.
    Do the environment agencies realise that this is the case.

    And as far as forestry is concerned, the thousands of acres planted in the borders has often be blamed as one of the causes of flooding because it allows a much quicker run-off.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    I suspect there is an ever strengthening environmental lobby that considers flooding of the levels a good conservation/environmental benefit certainly for wildfowl,waders,curlew,lapwing,golden plover etc etc. That I suspect is Natural England steering DEFRA policy, only this excessive rainfall has highlighted the human problems and misery such greening can cause.
    Are "local human problems" of more concern than recreating otter habitat to the British/European taxpayer??

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Is it not true that any land artificially drained by man is likely to pose a problem at some point.

    yes that is right, but recently there has been no large coherent planned maintenance. the dutch manage thousands of acres below sea-level so once again this country has lost the plot.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Moors Farmer View Post
    Pete - Bridgwater is only 10 miles or so from me. There's a very good argument it should be washed away .

    Hehe trouble over bridge water,,,,
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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Moors Farmer View Post
    Pete - Bridgwater is only 10 miles or so from me. There's a very good argument it should be washed away .
    Joking aside - Looking at the hight of the Spring tides up the Bristol channel this weekend, over 13 metres, Bridgwater will be at serious risk.
    And with tides that high There is also the very serious risk of Salt water flooding parts of the levels !

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    This my concern.
    The last few weeks this concept of deliberately waterlogging has gained traction.
    In particular I've heard the example of 'Slowing the flow' programme at Pickering held up as what we should be doing as a natural flood reduction measure.
    They are quoting this as good practise yet the scheme hasn't even been installed yet alone proven effective!

    Though installing balancing pools might be helpful in flash flood situations in a long wet winter there will be little benefit once they are full.
    Also another big new idea is deliberately blocking natural streams with logs or even straw bales.
    I can see all this coming downstream and choking the bridges frankly.

    The main reason this is being promoted is less cost than proper defences and river maintenance where they have built in flood prone locations.
    Also there's a lot of rot coming from George Monbiot and The Guardian about the EU 'forcing upland farms' to destroy and remove trees.
    (this is a muddled reference to keeping land in good agricultural condition for SFP)

    If they looked at real figures I suspect more hedges have been planted than lost in livestock areas, and there must be a good deal more planted forest than 50 years ago in many areas too.
    Our natural woodlands were cleared first from the uplands as drainage was better - mostly thousands of years ago; they have been essential not wooded ever since, it certainly isn't some new thing causing problems lower down.
    These "balancing pools" are used as part of the drainage system for The new town they are building next door to us !
    These pools have been dug on the flood-plain, right beside some of the houses they have built on the flood-plain, needless to say these pools have now been full for nearly 3 months !
    This is just another major flooding incident waiting to happen.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    The old guys - who carried the tradition of draining the levels - are long gone. Each reiteration of the water boards, to what is now the E.A., has diluted the skill base of what is needed to deal with 'extreme weather events'. The kids on bikes that work in the E.A. just don't have the right stuff. The landowners in the hills only want to shoot the water as fast as possible and would need entirely re-educating to behave differently. (Impossible with an average age of 60+). Turfs close gripes quite effectively and the spars used to reinforce them can easily be tethered to a peg! As well as waterlogging (which is hugely expensive due to the consequent loss of fertility) there are also potentially protracted droughts to contend with ...

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    You watch they will be going''DREDGEING CRAZY'' after the water has dropped, machines at the ready- bet plenty will be in the ''trough'' again?????

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by RGT View Post
    You watch they will be going''DREDGEING CRAZY'' after the water has dropped, machines at the ready- bet plenty will be in the ''trough'' again?????
    Cost 4 mil 2 mil wasted as per normal

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    My heart goes out to anyone who has been subjected to flooding anywhere. And as usual I suspect that there is more of a grain of truth from contributors on here who know their respective areas far better than all these so-called experts who have been to Uni and have got an "ology" which enables them to write a CV and get a job in an inadequate quango.

    But it's the simple things that empahise stories. And for me it was Owen Paterson going to the levels the other day and didn't even take any wellies. Wouldn't you have thought that he would have been down there weeks ago wading about talking to people and making sure that the EA was doing as much as it could to relieve the grief ?

    Some of these so-called politicians have never visited planet Earth. They wouldn't recognise practical solutions to problems even if their lives depended on it.

  23. #23
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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Clowns....overwhelming....Environment Agency....seemed to find it a joke.....utterly heartbreaking


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ael-Eavis.html

    It wasn’t easy, with a dozen gangs – men who really knew what they were doing – keeping their mechanised excavators working seven days a week at the busiest times, but it worked.

    In fact, it worked very well, delivering a valuable double benefit, with the silt that dragged from the river being deposited on the bank tops, ensuring that as the river got deeper, so the banks got higher, too.

    But nearly 20 years ago, all that changed. First, the wildlife and conservation lobby steadily grew ever more influential.

    Very soon, conservationists, naturalists and organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds were the good guys and we farmers were the enemy.

    As a result, the dredging was stopped and the money saved was diverted into conservation.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    It is the Environment Agency that needs dredging first!
    Bit of clue here http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk...ion/38747.aspx
    Ex Leader of the Ramblers......
    One of Blair's babes wasn't he?
    Another surprise here http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk...on/148384.aspx
    Wonder what the annual take home for these worthies is?
    Reading though the background of the board there is a recurring theme....with what could be called the token (errr better be careful here) well make your own mind up.
    Gee

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    It is the Environment Agency that needs dredging first!
    Bit of clue here http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk...ion/38747.aspx
    Ex Leader of the Ramblers......
    One of Blair's babes wasn't he?
    Another surprise here http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk...on/148384.aspx
    Wonder what the annual take home for these worthies is?
    Reading though the background of the board there is a recurring theme....with what could be called the token (errr better be careful here) well make your own mind up.
    Gee
    I am amused that the chairman of the EA holds qualifications which amount to nothing more than a detailed study of English. No geology, geography, maths, chemistry or physics mentioned anywhere, clearly a political post holder and nothing more.

    I also had a good laugh at how apparently trees are the solution to all our problems. Of course whole-scale reafforestation would have no negative environmental impact at all, would it?Monbiot neglects to mention that this region of Somerset didn't lose all its trees in the last 21 years, they were removed decades before then. I can also assure him that no amount of trees will ever stop water run off, I have a farm which probably has more dense mature woodland on it than any other in the whole county and it is STILL wet as a very wet thing.

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    Exclamation Re: Somerset flooding

    looks like very bad tommorrow ,wind more rain along with this high spring tide -13m or so , terrible again , take care out there?

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    The EA has to many university educated dickheads being paid to much for doing nothing,it is not expensive to dredge rivers compared to the money wasted in bureaucracy,engineers reports,method statements,needless health & Safety,flood defences causing problems upstream,complying with EU regulation on procurement of contracts and why are we spending millions on foriegn aid when this is happening in our own country our goverment should be ashamed.

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Phone JCB up, how much for a 100 .....360's.
    100 experienced drivers on double rate....get going.
    Still have the excavators when you finish.
    Cheaper still hire in the independent operators.
    Trouble is Enviro agency would need someone who knew what they were doing......
    Gee

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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone_Waller View Post
    The old guys - who carried the tradition of draining the levels - are long gone. Each reiteration of the water boards, to what is now the E.A., has diluted the skill base of what is needed to deal with 'extreme weather events'. The kids on bikes that work in the E.A. just don't have the right stuff. The landowners in the hills only want to shoot the water as fast as possible and would need entirely re-educating to behave differently. (Impossible with an average age of 60+). Turfs close gripes quite effectively and the spars used to reinforce them can easily be tethered to a peg! As well as waterlogging (which is hugely expensive due to the consequent loss of fertility) there are also potentially protracted droughts to contend with ...
    At one time, grips on hill ground were cleared/renewed very regularly. I can't remember anyone suggesting that they shot the water straight off and caused flooding lower down.
    In fact, as has already been pointed out by Dry rot, they allow the surrounding (often humose soils) to dry out, and they are thus able to contain water in the event of a downpour.

  30. #30
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    Re: Somerset flooding

    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    Phone JCB up, how much for a 100 .....360's.
    100 experienced drivers on double rate....get going.
    Still have the excavators when you finish.
    Cheaper still hire in the independent operators.
    Trouble is Enviro agency would need someone who knew what they were doing......
    Gee

    And who work past 3 in the afternoon, and don't stop every hour for a cuppa. If all the uni trained enviro conservationists were sacked there'd be plenty of money in the budget I'm sure.
    If in doubt get a bigger hammer

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