It is really pleasing to report that works on Natural Flood Management have begun on the River Isbourne Catchment as part of the longer term flood prevention strategy with funding from the) DEFRA, and the support of landowners and other statutory partners.
Thanks to everyone who attended the AGM at the Betteridge Room in Sedgeberrow on 28th November 2018. It was a great opportunity to meet our new project officer, Wendy Bufton, and hear about the two demonstration projects starting within the Isbourne Catchment area, see the presentation attached here.
Following on from the funding announcement in July, Worcestershire County Council has employed a Natural Flood Management Project Officer who will engage with communities and landowners to identify potential work areas and implement natural flood management techniques across the county.
Thanks to everyone who attended the AGM at the Abbeyfields Community Centre in Winchcombe. Our supporters from across the catchment included the surrounding villages and farms from Winchcombe all the way down to Sedgeberrow.
It’s been 10 years since the devastating floods of 2007 and the group has been working towards delivering a catchment based approach, applying the principles of natural flood management, which involve a whole series of small measures to “slow the flow”.
It was announced by the Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey that £15 million of funding has been awarded to over 50 schemes across the UK. This new allocations of flood management funding will allow homes, businesses and communities around the country to benefit from increased flood protection.
Members from ICG visited Chris Uttley, who is responsible for implementing Natural Flood Management (NFM) techniques in the Stroud Valley. This NFM project has been active since 2012 setting a clear precedent that we can follow.
Following the full scoping study carried out by the University of Gloucestershire, a community based report has been written for ICG to be used in our engagement work with all the parish and town councils within the catchment. We hope this report is less technical and more easily understood and will help to secure the endorsement for this approach and our work going forward.
ICG have joined forces with the Carrant Brook Restoration Project, who have similar ideals and activities to us but applied to the Carrant. CCARP have already secured funding and started active projects, similar to those we would like to start along the Isbourne. ICG is now represented at this group to share learning experiences, please download their newsletter for further details.
A walk through Toddington Manor Estate was enabled by owner Damian Hirst and his Estates Manager Owen Butler. The Environment Agency, University staff and students and ICG group members walked the length of the estate both sides of the river and identified a range of opportunities to slow the flow or store water in flood conditions. These will now be subjected to further investigation and feasibility in conjunction with the Toddington Estates.
On Monday 7th November a Catchment walk along the Toddington estate section of the River Isbourne took place, attended by representatives from the Toddington estate, the Isbourne Catchment Group (Annette Dawson, Sue Morris and Richard Wakeford), the University of Gloucestershire (lecturers Dr Lucy Clarke and Dr Chris Short and third year Geography students Jack Hackett, Kyle Conroy and Louise Wilson), the Environment Agency (Brian Smith) and the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (Jenny Phelps) and provide ideas to and discussion involving, reducing flood risk within the Catchment.
The Isbourne Catchment Group and the Environment Agency were pleased to receive the final report from the University of Gloucestershire and Countryside & Community Research Institute. Following detailed feedback and discussions we now have a report which identifies the opportunities for natural flood management throughout the catchment.
The first Isbourne Catchment Group AGM was held on Thursday 19th May at Sedgeberrow Village Hall to a wide audience (34 in total) including statutory agencies, group members, Chaceley Flood Group and local people with an interest in our activities.
Almost eight years ago to the day flooding devastated many parts of Gloucestershire. One of the rivers that broke its banks was the Isbourne which runs from Cleeve Hill, through Winchcombe and onto Evesham where it joins the Avon.
We have established a River Isbourne Catchment group, to consider and hopefully through collective action address the longer term environmental management/flood risks associated with the river and its tributaries.