Brook breach floods Ormskirk farmer's crop

A West Lancashire farmer is counting the cost of a brook breach that has flooded 40 acres of his land.

Water began flowing out of the Cheshire Lines watercourse onto farmer Rob Sephton's wheat crop near Ormskirk during heavy rain on Sunday.

The farmer said it was the third such breach in 10 years and is calling for the brook's banks to be strengthened.

In a statement, the Environment Agency said the volume of rain had overwhelmed the defences.

Mr Sephton described it as a "serious breach" and said if the rain continued his wheat crop would be ruined.

"If it keeps raining and the water keeps flowing through the breach it [the wheat] will more than likely be spoiled," he said.

"It's affecting our cropping plans because we are very loathed to crop anything that we think is going to be vulnerable to flooding at this time of year.

"My personal opinion is the banks aren't being maintained to a high enough standard."

Blockages 'cleared'

Matt Crump, Lancashire and Cumbria flood incident manager, said staff had been inundated with calls over the weekend.

"Teams have been checking flood defences and clearing river blockages," he said.

"Throughout the year we carry out routine maintenance on the Cheshire Lines watercourse. This includes cutting back weeds and grass to help ensure that the channel remains clear.

"In recent years, we have also inserted a strong plastic support through the centre of the river bank. This helps to provide additional stability, and reduce the damage which can be caused by burrowing rabbits.

"The volume of rain over the weekend caused the flood defence to be over topped. This together with the pressure of the water inside the brook caused the bank to be breached."

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