Updates on Natural Flood Management Project
Funding has been secured through the Severn and Wye RFCC, (Regional Flood and Coastal Committee), for a Worcestershire wide NFM project over a period of 6 years from April 2021. This will include continuing works within the catchments that are already being worked on, as well as looking at other areas within the county. We believe that the present project manager, Wendy Bufton, will continue in her role and be funded through WCC, but confirmation is still awaited.
Natural Flood Management Works to date within the Merrybrook catchment include:
– Ryden Farm: 37 Leaky wooden dams in place now. More planned.
– Kersoe Farm: 12 dams in to date with another 10-15 going in before the end of March
– Springhill Farm: 940m of hedgerow planting, 25 trees, 67 Ha of cover crops.
– Haselor Farm: Pollarding so far leaky woody dams to follow
– Farm adjoining Haselor Farm: Has grassed down 2 acres of land next to the brook, which was previously arable. Willows have been pollarded to make way for leaky woody dams. Also looking to hedge
– Sandfield Farm: Sward lifting on 16 acres
– We hope to arrange a visit to another farmer for a full site visit once the current covid restrictions are lifted.
You may have noticed that some hedging and trees have been planted alongside land at Church Leys and on the road between the Charlton and Jubilee Bridge. This is all part of the Natural Flood Management Scheme on the Merry Brook and Joanne Leigh has provided the following information:
The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, FWAG, have teamed up with the Worcestershire County Council and the Environment Agency to help deliver a project on the Merry Brook for natural flood management. The aim of the project is to see if natural flood management has a part to play in future flood interventions and so we are working with landowners and farmers to see where these features can be implemented and make a difference to annual flooding. So far we have funded hedge planting, tree planting, pollarding willows and put in a few leaky woody dams along the Merry Brook but more features are planned in the new year. The purpose of the dams is to hold water back for a few seconds to relieve pressure on pinch points further downstream; this will allow the water to get away quicker and reduce the flooding in roads and to businesses and properties. The project has a 5-year delivery objective which is coming to an end in March 2021, the current pandemic has not helped in getting work completed, however, people have been very open to our thoughts on how to slow the flow of water and have provided land on which to implement and see if the works make a difference. If you have land adjacent to the Merry Brook and would like to see what items can be funded under our current scheme please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures of some of the leaky dams installed on the Merry Brook above the Village