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.
The Bailey brothers who farm in Charlton Abbots have become our upper catchment ‘champions’ delivering the first set of wooded dams on a 0.5km stretch of the Beesmoor Brook tributary of the River Isbourne, as shown in the sample photographs below. Two men worked with project lead Wendy Bufton (Worcestershire County Council) and Brian Smith (EA) for two weeks and installed 8 leaky dams (utilising one drainage consent) on land owned by Tristan Bailey. Work was completed on 27th March. In order to promote the work we aim to erect a display board on the public footpath to explain what the purpose of the dams. After Easter a further walk across the estate will take place to pinpoint other locations for woody dams within the area identified in the hydrological study previously prepared by the University of Gloucestershire – Countryside and Community Research Institute.
This work demonstrates what can be achieved through close co-operation of all partners and will hopefully act as a catalyst for other landowners for whom a ‘sharing’ event is being planned in the coming weeks. Our thanks to Tewkesbury Borough Council, who hold responsibility for local drainage for simplifying and enabling the necessary consents.
Work in the lower catchment has focused upon a site survey and pegging-out by Uni of Glos for future works. These include creating a shallow spillway for the Isbourne as it passes through the Toddington estate and also creating a couple of small bunds to retain water at times of high flow. We are grateful for the support of Owen Butler and the Toddington Estate and also to Mr Alvis as the tenant farmer. Subject to his consent, the plan is to deliver the work in two phases.
Additionally, as part of the on-going monitoring programme, further river flow gauges have been ordered for Toddington (field opposite the road bridge), Mill Lane Winchcombe & Castle Street Winchcombe (behind the allotments on Beesmoor Brook) plus a rain gauge at Winchcombe primary school.
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