Landowners work together to tackle flood risk

11 February 2016

Farmers and landowners in West Lancashire are taking matters in to their own hands to help prevent future flooding in the area.

The CLA in the North is encouraging its members to explore alternative arrangements for future land drainage, which could save up to 4,500 properties in the region from the risk of flooding.

Following news that the Environment Agency is withdrawing funding for land drainage pumping at Alt Crossens, the CLA has been working with the local farming community to come up with alternative solutions.

Now, farmers and landowners are being asked to give their views on establishing a Water Level Management Board (also known as an Internal Drainage Board), which would be predominantly funded by agricultural land owners.

CLA North Regional Surveyor Robert Frewen said: “This board would be responsible for managing the pumping stations and maintaining the water levels in the area. Some 60 percent of the funding would come from the local agricultural community so we are urging all our members in the area to respond to the consultation.

“Water Level Management Boards are a tried and tested model involving key local groups and individuals with a track record of managing flood risks efficiently and effectively in other parts of the country.

“They work because they are run by stakeholders from the local community with a direct interest in preventing flooding. They are a proven example of local decision-making that works and we urgently need a solution in this region.”

The area affected by the Alt Crossens pumping station includes the low lying land stretches from Hightown and Ince Blundell in the south to Banks and Mere Brow in the north. It lies to the east of Formby and Southport and to the west of Rufford, Haskayne and Halsall. It also includes an area of farmland just outside the catchment, north of Banks and south of the Ribble Estuary.

Farmers and landowners have until Monday 29 February to respond to the Environment Agency.

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