Cumbria

Glenridding flood work complete after Desmond devastation

Flood prevention work at Glenridding
Image caption The scheme has seen walls heightened and gravel and silt removed in an effort to prevent overspilling

Work to protect a Lake District village from further flooding has been completed more than three years after Storm Desmond caused havoc.

Glenridding, in Cumbria, flooded twice in a matter of days when its beck burst its banks in December 2015.

The scheme saw thousands of tonnes of gravel removed from the river in a bid to reduce the risk of further chaos.

Some residents have expressed concern over the time taken by the Environment Agency to complete the project.

The agency said it wanted the scheme to be "as good as it could be".

'Cut off'

Recalling the swollen waters, Rob Shepherd, of the Patterdale Flood Action Group, said: "It was very scary.

"There was a feeling of helplessness as well, especially because we were effectively cut off for two days.

"When the rain comes in off the fells it comes down with some force. It washes not just water down but rocks as well.

"To see it now is superb."

The scheme has also involved raising the height of walls and carrying out drainage work.

Image caption Reconstruction work along the banks of Glenridding Beck got under way in 2016

Alan Brown, who runs Glenridding Mini Market, said he had been frustrated by the speed of the work and "can't believe it took three years".

The Environment Agency's Matt Crump said blockages caused by gravel had been a major contributing factor to the floods.

"We've improved the gauging system - the way we monitor river levels," he said.

"We've also installed a camera down by the bridge so that from our incident room we can monitor how the river is behaving, making sure the bridge is clear of debris so we can keep water moving through the system rather than coming out of its bank and into people's properties."

Challenged over the time taken to complete the work, he said: "We wanted to make sure the scheme we left the community was as good as it could be and blended in with the community for the longer term."

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