The floods in Cumbria and surrounding areas recently has brought out the best in people’s human nature and good will, however it has also raised a number of questions about Britain’s flood defences and whether they are fit for purpose.
Many commentators have discussed the human catastrophe, the loss and anguish, residents and businesses have suffered and begun to point fingers at both the Government and Environment Agency, but the question we perhaps should be asking is “just why these events are still happening in the UK when so much money has been allocated to preventing it?”
Over 5000 homes and businesses were recently affected by the flooding in Cumbria, yet the Government found themselves defending, spending almost twice as much on tackling Climate change abroad as flood defence in the UK.
The town most affected by the floods recently, Keswick already have flood defences in place around the town yet you wouldn’t have thought it looking at the devastation Storm Desmond left in its wake.
Keswick has been protected by a reinforced Concrete Wall made from local slate with a 122 metre glass panelling on top. However, the wall offered little protection when the storm finally passed over acting little more than an attractive delaying tactic before the inevitable did finally happen and the town was flooded by the rising, swollen river.
The Environment agency were quick to point out that the damage would have been much worse had the walls not been in place but those words offered scant consolation to families who had in some cases lost everything just 3 weeks before Christmas.
Civil engineers were also quick to point out that perhaps Britain should be following the lead of other countries when building and ensure new buildings are built a metre above ground level to eradicate the risk, however again, these words offered little by way of consolation to the 5000 plus buildings affected recently.
Assessments on flood risk around the UK are taken by The National Flood Risk Assessment (NAFRA) in conjunction with the Environment Agency who use NAFRA’s data to analyse trends, determine climate change effect and also track development of floodplains in the UK. A variety of flood defence materials are used from embankments to concrete walling to large dams in some parts of the country.
Over £2.3bn has been pledged to flood defence by the Government for the next six years to try and make events of the last few weeks a thing of the past however it remains to be seen whether the defences installed can be more effective than the current ones in place.
Here at Blockwalls we manufacture Concrete Lego Block Walls that are manufactured in a variety of sizes for different purposes. Our blocks are manufactured in widths of 300mm, 600mm and 800mm. They also interlock and bond perfectly making them ideal for retaining walls, blast walls, silage bays and also flood defence walls. They wouldn’t make the most attractive looking flood defence in the middle of a town but would certainly act as an excellent deterrent alongside rivers, in the countryside and on the outskirts of towns and cities that needed additional protection.
It remains to be seen what improvements are implemented after the recent events in Cumbria however we hope that the tragedy and loss will act as a wake-up call to take extra precautions in the most vulnerable areas of the UK and ensure flood defences are as strong as they can be.
If you would like to discuss using our Concrete products as a flood defence solution, feel free to get in touch on 0800 880 3135 or by completing our short contact form here!