Ditch clearing helps reduce flood risk
West Oxfordshire District Council has completed its annual ditch clearance as part of its continuing flood defence work to protect communities in the district.
The Council’s engineers and ditch clearing contractor have cleared over 3000 metres of ditches that fall under the Council’s responsibility.
They were in 15 locations across the district and work to reduce potential flood risk to the area included the removal of fallen trees, branches and vegetation. Overgrown brambles and shrubbery on the banks have also been cut back to reduce blockages in the stream.
West Oxfordshire District Council is also advising private landowners to keep their ditches, brooks and streams clear to keep the risk of flooding to a minimum in the district.
Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “Ditch clearing helps safeguard communities from avoidable flooding and makes a big difference to local wildlife. As well as clearing ditches we are responsible for, we also work to monitor ditches on privately owned land and if necessary send landowners a letter reminding them to keep them clear.”
Since 2007, when West Oxfordshire was hit by devastating floods, the Council has been working continuously on flood prevention work along with partner agencies and local communities.
Grant funding of around £700,000 for specific projects has been secured from DEFRA and the Environment Agency (EA).
Flood defence projects in Asthall, Alvescot (lower end), Bampton, Brize Norton, Broadwell and Kencot, Cassington, Clanfield, Filkins, Fordwells, Leafield, Ramsden, Weald St Bampton, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Westwell and three areas of Witney – Burwell Meadow, Eastfield Road and Madley Brook, near Madley Park have either been completed or are in progress.
The Council is funding works to be completed at Madley Brook as well as a flood relief culvert at Westwell and a further two projects funded by the EA and DEFRA are planned for Milton-under-Wychwood and Kelmscott. (See notes to editors for details of the schemes)
A bid has also been made for a further £235,000 to enable works to be carried out at:
* Colwell Brook, Witney – diversion works costing £30,000.
* Crawley – construction of storage area upstream of industrial estate, £50,000.
* Shilton – construction of upstream storage areas and reintroduction of water meadow, £80,000.
* Minster Lovell – reconstruction of field ditch and flood protection bunds, £30,000
* Curbridge – culvert repairs and ditch creation/enlarging, £45,000
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