Drone footage shows extent of Storm Henk flood at Charlecote Park - The Leamington Observer

Drone footage shows extent of Storm Henk flood at Charlecote Park

Leamington Editorial 16th Jan, 2024   0

DRONE footage shows full the extent of recent flooding at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire as site reopens to visitors following Storm Henk.

Charlecote Park, which is in the care of the National Trust has the River Avon and the River Dene running through the site.

After persistent heavy rain at the start of the month, both rivers burst their banks causing extensive flooding in the parkland and in the basement of the house.

The estate was forced to close to the public for nine days during one of its busiest times of year while the National Trust team worked to protect the livestock, parkland and Elizabethan mansion from flood damage – and then, as the water receded, clear the site of debris and make it safe for visitors again.

During the severe weather, water quickly filled the basement of the mansion and five pumps worked constantly to evacuate the water. In the parkland, several fences were torn down by the strong water currents.

Paul Smith, park and gardens manager, said: “Charlecote Park is situated on a floodplain, where the River Dene joins the Avon, so we expect a certain amount of flooding, but extensive flooding on the scale we’ve seen this January hasn’t happened in more than a decade.

“This autumn and winter we have been affected by several named storms and the ground was still waterlogged from those extreme weather events, so when Storm Henk hit the water levels rose quickly.”

After several days of extensive flooding, the water receded and the whole team at Charlecote Park was called to put the parkland back to rights before it reopened.

General manager Rebecca Watson said: “I am incredibly proud of the team at Charlecote, they rallied together and put so much effort into ensuring the livestock, parkland and house were protected. Staff from all departments came together to clear up the debris brought by the flood and ensure we could reopen as soon as possible.

“We are very pleased to be welcoming visitors again every day from 9am to 4pm.”

Locals were particularly concerned about the fate of Charlecote’s fallow deer.

Area ranger Joy Margerum reported: “The fallow deer herd moved to higher ground on their own and were unharmed. Fallow deer are good swimmers, so our top priority once the water receded was to patch up the broken fence to prevent the deer from escaping. Our rare breed Jacob ewes were not affected by the flooding, but the males, who live in a separate area closer to the river, had to be relocated as their pen was slowly being surrounded by the rising water.”

Click here to view video footage.


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