Flood scheme along river starts in County Durham
A £20,000 scheme has begun to reduce flood risk to homes in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
The Environment Agency is carrying out river maintenance along the Woodham Burn through Woodham Village.
It aims to improve water flow and reduce the risk of flooding to 16 riverside homes.
The maintenance work includes removing objects from the beck that could hinder its flow, such as fallen trees and man-made debris.
Vegetation on the river banks and any overhanging trees that could cause an obstruction are also being removed.
Staff will be working along the river for about four weeks, using hand-held tools as well as heavy machinery when necessary.
The Environment Agency said part of the work will involve the removal of Himalayan Balsam, an invasive species of plant that can be harmful to the river bank and its wildlife.
Project manager Les Collingwood said: "River maintenance work is recognised as a successful and cost effective way of reducing flood risk.
"We intend to carry out regular maintenance on this section of river for the foreseeable future."