Much Wenlock: The Shylte Brook – a Rapid Response Catchment
After the severe flash flooding in the Cornish town of Boscastle in 2004, the Environment Agency was tasked to look at other catchments around the country that would behave in a similar manner should conditions prevail. A number of other catchments have been identified and the Shylte Brook, running through Much Wenlock, is one of them.
In autumn 2015 the Environment Agency sent a briefing note to properties identified as at risk of flash flooding. This was the first step in raising awareness of the risks of this type of flooding. Whilst a large number of properties are shown to be within areas that may be affected by extreme flash flooding, everyone who lives or works in the Much Wenlock area should be aware. Flooding of this type can occur with very little warning, and the depth and speed of flood water can increase quickly. Knowing what action to take is extremely important.
The Environment Agency, Shropshire Council and the National Flood Forum met with representatives from Much Wenlock’s Town Council, Flood Group and Civic Society in February to discuss the issue and start to plan the next steps. Community concerns around the autumn briefing note were discussed, and ways of further raising awareness in the community were planned. The Much Wenlock Flood Group, formed by a group of interested volunteers, has a vast knowledge of the Shylte Brook catchment and how it behaves, and will be a major part of work in the wider community regarding the flash flooding issue.
Also discussed at the meeting was Shropshire Council’s progress with the Much Wenlock Flood Alleviation Scheme. The scheme now has full planning consent for construction of the flood storage ponds and the restoration of Westwood Quarry. Construction is due to start in autumn 2016. The group discussed that although the scheme will hugely benefit the town in terms of reducing flood risk it will be of limited effect during a ‘flash flooding’ event, and this is the reason that people must be aware of the risks.
The next step is to arrange a community flood awareness event. This will take the form of a drop in style session in late spring / early summer. Representatives from the relevant organisations will be present and the doors will be open for all to drop by and talk about flooding issues in the Shylte Brook catchment. Further details will be released soon.