Thursday, January 21, 2016

Victoria's Green Matters - 21st January 2016

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Scientists and meteorologists warned us twenty years ago that our winters would become warmer and wetter. This has come true except for a few cold spells now and then but did we take any action to cope with the ever increasing amounts of water that would land on our fair country? No, of course we didn’t. In fact, we allowed actions to continue that would positively make the flooding of towns far more likely.

As usual, we hear about building higher walls, putting in flood defences and dredging rivers but we don’t hear much about putting in measures to hold back the water at source on the moors above the towns.

Campaigners have been begging the government to stop the drainage and burning of grouse moors which reduces the grounds’ capacity to store water. But large, important landowners hold sway and continue to destroy the land in favour of breeding game birds for people to pay money to shoot. To add insult to injury, farm subsidies are paid to these landowners because their land qualifies as farm land as soon as any wildlife habitat is removed.

We need flood prevention in the form of woodland and functioning bogs; dead wood and gravel banks and other obstructions which beavers would gladly create for nothing. The effects of this would be to allow rivers to meander and braid, letting rivers flow again into their flood plains.

It seems that there are signs that the government has realised that these measures are a necessity.

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