Thank you all for your attendance at our first meeting. It was a very impressive response.
I have quite a lot of information but will keep it as brief as I can.
I have taken the last few days to approach local villages who have suffered flooding during the last storm and received very useful advice.
As Epperstone is located between Lowdham and Woodborough I contacted their already established Flood Prevention Groups.
Woodborough has the Dover Beck as part of the village watercourse and Lowdham nestles in the very large catchment area of the Cocker Beck and the flood plains of the Carr Dyke/Dover Beck.
Both villages suffered substantial flooding and already have Action Plans to implement and coordinate the relevant and often emergency response.
Oxton is also in the catchment of the Dover Beck, I have not approached the Flood Prevention Group, but plan to do so.
Attached is a map to represent the Dover Beck catchment area.
From the research I have done we are better placed if we partner another village along the Dover Beck .
As a small village we encountered low level flooding compared to Lowdham, Woodborough and Oxton, it is proving difficult to get the assistance we need from the local agencies. Although there are numerous schemes available, Epperstone is low down the list of priorities, we need to work together to establish a solution to our problems.
Woodborough retains flood water longer because we cannot reduce our flood water quickly. Epperstone floods because Woodborough’s flood water goes into the Dover Beck.
The Dover Beck water is held back by the apparent blockage at Wash Bridge and albeit not proven the potential issue of sluice gates at the Lowdham Mill. It is at this point the Dover Beck flows in Gonalston, Hoveringham and into the Trent.
Without Woodborough and Epperstone improving the flow of water we simply send the problem to our neighbours.
Farmland Management, Gullies, Drains, Ditch and Beck maintenance contribute to the problem.
I have highlighted below any area that requires a volunteer.
Epperstone Gullies and Drains:
Considerable surface water flowed into and along the Main Street
This was seen running down Chapel and Hagg Lane
A volume of water was from the higher-level farmland and some from the heavy rainfall, which was exceptional.
It has been an issue for a considerable length of time, some of the gullies and drains in the village are blocked or simply do not function. The Parish Council have made several requests for cleaning, which in part happened recently. However, we are hoping to established if repair work is needed to the system.
A meeting has been arranged for November 15th with representatives from the Parish Council and Via East Midlands. An ideal outcome is a full drainage inspection is undertaken.
The Parish Council has the support of Councillor Roger Jackson.
The Parish Council are well placed to monitor this and report back to Epperstone Flood Protection Group.
Landowners within the catchment area and surface water:
I contacted the Trent River Trust, Dr Scott Mackenzie. Very helpful and knowledgeable about NFM. National Flood Management.
This includes working with local landowners to assess what interventions are appropriate for a given catchment to address land management issues and suggesting alteration to retain water where appropriate.
We firstly need to establish whether landowners are willing to have intervention. I would suggest we need volunteers who may assist with this.
Depending on the local interest Scott may be available to attend a meeting to discuss with the farming group what can be done.
A list of properties involved in the recent flood has been given to Councillor Roger Jackson.
This triggers a Section 19 report. As part of the duties under the Flood and Water Management Act 2020, lead local Flood Authorities are required to Investigate.
No further action can be taken on this.
Newark & Sherwood DC offer flooding financial support to get reasonably prices home insurance. There is also the compensation scheme available.
We need to work with House owners and check that have provision if this happens again. I would suggest we need a volunteer who may assist with this.
Community Flood Signage Scheme:
Josh Wells from Notts CC flood team has agreed to develop and assist with a Signage Scheme for Epperstone.. Paul Bracegirdle has taken the lead.
Thank you to all the volunteers who have come forward and will receive training.
Newark& Sherwood DC are not prepared to let Epperstone have the free sandbags that have already been made available to other villages.
The council have limited stock, and we are not a priority. We are on our own, it may change.
A suggestion is we approach the Parish Council and request a provision is made for storage and village owned Sandbags and Aqua Sacks. A suitable location agreed.
A volunteer would be helpful to manage this and the long term plan if we need any more equipment such as a Pump.
This water course is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. It has been a constant battle to establish a regular maintenance programme.
I have emailed and requested a meeting; I still await a reply. Speaking with Peter Cross from The Lowdham Flag Group and the Woodborough Flood Action Group, they strongly support the theory of Epperstone is holding back water and taking water from the Dover Beck due to upstream issues. Lowdham is not directly affected by the Dover Beck but has interest in the watercourse as they have previously assisted Epperstone Garage during a flooding incident.
Councillor Roger Jackson is meeting the EA and I look forward to his feedback. I also will keep emailing until Epperstone gets a formal response from the EA.
A Volunteer is needed to assist with checking the Dover Beck for blockages and restrictions and form regular contact with the EA.
Epperstone has numerous ditches that need regular maintenance. Blockages and vegetation removed from the banksides. Landowners and the Internal Drainage Board are responsible for this may neglect or ignore the responsibility. The IDB are not as helpful as they can be, I have a contact at the agency and requested a meeting or at the very least an update of when maintenance will take place. Volunteers would be welcome to walk the water courses and check for blockages and form regular contact with the IDB.
I have not contacted the person responsible for the monitoring of the gates, Notts C.C. have a Flood Risk team and they may be able to assist.
I will revisit this over the next day or so. A volunteer will be needed to monitor this.
For quick response and communication, I suggest we look at a Community WhatsApp Group. The Parish Council have agreed to add a Flood Group page to the PC
We need to establish a written Flood Action Plan, to include all contact details, volunteers, vulnerable residents and working groups to monitor
Weather forecasts, flood alerts and warnings. https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/alerts-and-warnings?q=epperstone
Schedule regular meetings and help the village with information to prepare for flooding.
Take photographs to use a helpful pointer for the agencies.
We need volunteers to enable this please.
I hope this is helpful and we can move forward with various work groups.
I would appreciate any input, assistance, and welcome suggestions. This email is meant as a basic talking point.
I would like to suggest we meet again, 6th December at 7.00pm.
I think I am missing some email addresses.