Investigations into flooding at Burnley and Earby published with recommendations for peatland restoration and tree-planting

The results of investigations into three flash floods at Burnley and Earby have now been published.

By Dominic Collis
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 3:45 pm

These localised floods took place in 2016 and the reports outline action to protect people and property and improve resilience to flooding.

Flash flooding is becoming more common in the UK because of climate change, where higher temperatures are leading to more unpredictable torrential downpours.

Lancashire County Council investigates flooding incidents and works with other organisations such as district councils, the Environment Agency and utility companies, as well as private landowners, to improve resilience.

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Floods have plagued Burnley, Padiham, Pendle and the Ribble Valley in recent years

County Coun. Stephen Clarke, lead member for flooding, said: "Incidents like these are becoming more and more commonplace.

"Climate change has altered our weather patterns, making short bursts of extremely heavy rain much more frequent.

"It's difficult for any drainage systems to cope with the extra strain this puts on them, but we must adapt.

"We're working with our partners, land and building owners and encouraging them to put measures in place to ensure floodwater doesn't enter property, and to take steps to ensure their property can bounce back quicker if it is flooded."

The investigations revealed that a culvert in Burnley was not working effectively due to damage. This has now been repaired.

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Extensive improvements to Earby Beck and Victoria Clough in Earby have been made by Pendle Council and the Environment Agency and further work is planned.

County Coun. Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: "Tackling climate change is one of our priorities and ensuring the natural landscape and built environment can be more resilient to events like flooding is crucial.

"Flash flooding is a very difficult problem to address. Most drainage systems can get overwhelmed very quickly and the floodwater washes debris into drains blocking them up, even if they've been cleaned out previously.

"We also carry out investigations and work with partner organisations, local people, businesses and landowners to take action to reduce the risk of flooding.

"We've introduced a new flood risk management strategy and we're working on projects such as peatland restoration programmes and tree planting schemes, which help to hold back water to prevent floods and slow the flow into the rivers network. Improved drainage measures will also ensure our county is more resistant to climate change."