SRA End of Year Report 2015-16: Tree work
Background: In areas covered by Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs), the water-conveying capacities of around 67km of main river channels may be increased by removing trees and woody vegetation. Necessary work has not previously been carried out by the Environment Agency because of higher priority projects and limits on existing funding.
Problem: If work is not done then channels’ capacity will go on getting smaller, thereby increasing flood risk to local areas. Access for routine maintenance will also continue to become more difficult and costly.
Not yet achieved: The IDB initially modelled the impact of improved channel efficiency on the Brue to ensure the effective targeting of work and some bankside inspection and prioritisation was completed, but seasonal environmental constraints then delayed further activity. Work which will deliver the biggest improvements in drainage, and reductions in flood risk, is now due to take place in autumn 2016-17.