Environment Agency commits £500,000 to protect river banks against threat of floods

08:27 23 June 2014

MP Steve Barclay

MP Steve Barclay

Archant

The Environment Agency has earmarked half-a-million pounds to carry out repairs to damaged rivers banks in the Ouse Washes catchment area.

The agency said work would be carried out on stretches of the Old and New Bedford Rivers near Mepal, Sutton and Welney to repair damage done during winter floods and to sure up the river banks.

It added, however, that, following an investigation, it would not be carrying out any dredging in the area as river bed levels were “already low”.

In a letter to North East Cambridgeshire MP, Steve Barclay, the Environment Agency’s area manager, Julie Foley, said: “Our area has secured £2,338,000 of Government funding for river maintenance. This is 16 per cent higher than last year’s allocation.

“In addition, we have been successful in bidding for additional funding; to date we have secured an extra £1,320,000. Of these funds, over £500,000 will be spent repairing damage on the Ouse Washes.”

The news comes following a flooding summit held earlier this year in which Mr Barclay invited farmers, drainage boards and Environment Agency officials to discuss growing concern over flooding.

Many called for extra dredging of the Old and New Bedford Rivers to prevent the sort of flooding seen in Somerset.

According to the agency, between now and September, up to six kilometres of Cradge Bank, between Mepal and Welney, will be re-profiled to repair winter damage.

The agency said it would also be using “spoil removed from last year’s dredging” to repair another stretch of Cradge Bank that runs between Sutton and Earith.

Six hundreds metres of concrete revetment was installed between Welney and Welches Dam to reinforce the badly eroded earth bank.

Mr Barclay said he was ‘pleased that this important work’ would be carried out.

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