We all know that this happens

A flooded area with trees and grass

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There are several causes for flooding

Overspill from the dams due to outdated legislation on draw down in the earlier part of the year.

In November 2023 the Parish Council attended a session run by Sarah Dines MP which allowed councils to voice their concerns at a joint session.  There we made contact with Prof Jeremy Higham, Dean of Education, Social Sciences and Law at Leeds who lives in Darley Dale and who is lobbying hard for a change in the legislation.  In summary he has pressed the Environment Agency that “it is not appropriate to rely on an agreement based on the 1996 (or earlier) understanding of climate change and rainfall patterns and state “When the reservoirs are full, they will begin to ‘spill’ via overflow spillways. This cannot be prevented and will also increase downstream river levels.  When Ladybower Reservoir is was full by February, however this is outside of the Flood Drawdown Curve period so no further drawdowns can technically be requested.  Clearly, this situation can be prevented, and surely we do not need to wait for a full review which won’t start for some time.  Even to keep the reservoir at the agreed levels indicated in the current agreement’s Rules would be a start.”

Run off from fields and down Sir William Hill

Text Box: The Parish Council is working with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to introduce natural flood management measures (leaky dams, staggered natural barriers on hillsides, spill poos etc and also working with them to find funding.

The bridge and sewer pipe getting blocked by trees and branches

Text Box: Flood wardens and other patrol the river banks upstream of the bridge to identify loose trees and foliage so that they are not swept downstream during a flood.   
We know that keeping the bridge clear has a huge impact on the likelihood of flooding – last year heroic efforts by residents kept the central arch unblocked during the peak time and what seemed like certain flooding was narrowly avoided.  

A pile of logs in a river

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Text Box:  Text Box: The flood group, which is a mix of parish council and community members, has an ambitious project to build a raised bank below Jubilee Gardens, with inflatable barriers and a flood gate.  
Forgemaster generously gave us some inflatable barriers last year and there were a couple of demonstrations of how they work.  They are very heavy and if they are deployed in a flood situation, some careful planning and a lot of local help will be required.  

The river bursting its banks

We need a permit from the Environment Agency, who own the bank.  Without this, the flood group could be liable for any damage caused by the works which affects other houses downstream

The EA have done an informal flood impact assessment to help us understand the way the water flows when in spate.  We now need a technical assessment, this will cost ddthousands of pounds.  The Parish Council has set aside some money to support this.

The real stumbling block is that we cannot find the owner of the bank, and the EA will not give us a permit until we have.  We are faint but pursuing but all the usual avenues have not provided us with an answer.   Work on this and other mitigating solutions continues. 

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