Volunteers beaver away on flood mitigation measures in Wellesbourne - The Leamington Observer

Volunteers beaver away on flood mitigation measures in Wellesbourne

VOLUNTEERS are beavering away to reduce the risk of flooding in Wellesbourne.

Wellesbourne and Walton Flood Action Group is aiming to build on its previous success of providing flood mitigation measures around the village – but it is proving a slow and complex process trying to dam the tide.

WWFAG – an eight-strong group of volunteers, was set up in 2018 and works in partnership with Warwickshire County Council Flood Risk Management, Wellesbourne and Walton Parish Council, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Rivers Trust.

The group is currently completing projects on Newbold Brook to slow the flow of water and reduce the risk of flooding in the north of Wellesbourne.

It has plans for similar schemes along tributaries of the River Dene.

But progress on these schemes depends crucially on engagement with landowners and tenant farmers to gain their consent for flood mitigation measures to be put in place on their land.

Speaking to Wellesbourne and Walton News, WWFAG vice chair and treasurer Anthony Wykes said: “‘Before a plan is given the go-ahead we must have approval from all stakeholders – local council, conservation groups, river authorities, and of course the owners of the land.

“Everyone’s interests must be balanced. For example, we must show that by working on a project upstream, we’re not putting at risk arable land or property downstream.”

After unavoidable delays due to the pandemic, two fields on tributaries of the Newbold Brook were chosen as WWFAG’s first sites. This was partly because of the serious impact of flooding in recent years on the Newbold Road area.

Also key was the landowner, Warwickshire College Group’s Moreton Morrell College Farm. Its support made the project easier to get off the ground.

By the end of September 2022, WWFAG had created three holding ponds in Far Bog Field and installed ‘leaky dams’ as entrance and exit diverters from the first brook.

Leaky dams are barriers made of long branches, such as willow, held in a framework of stakes.

Work is about to start on digging three more holding ponds for the second brook in Bog Field, followed by building a number of leaky dams at Hell Hole Brook, near Moreton Paddox, using as much local material as possible.


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