We’ve enjoyed some glorious weather this autumn. The mix of sunshine and rain produced ideal growing weather so our attention turned at our most recent meeting to the annual task of ensuring that the water course is clear in case the Lavant’s flow again this winter.
Last year, we saw the benefits of the culvert clearance in the Sling, work that was financed by a Community Resilience Grant from SSE (Scottish & Southern Electricity). Whilst the Chalton Lavant didn’t rise, much to the relief of Finchdean residents, the flow from the Idsworth Lavant was fast and full. There was no flooding in Finchdean Road following the clearance of drainage channels in the Sling, so we hope this augurs well.
We enjoy excellent working relationships with the public bodies on which we rely. East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire District Council, the Environment Agency and SSE are regular attendees at our Group meetings and help us ensure we are as well prepared for the winter as we can be.
Our aim is to work collaboratively with landowners who are responsible for ensuring that ditches are cleared of vegetation that might impede the water flow. This is the crucial time of year for this important work. It involves a lot of planning and discussion as the Lavant course passes through many different properties including land owned by public bodies such as Network Rail and local Councils (both Hampshire and West Sussex). We’re especially grateful to the West Sussex County Council volunteer team who helped clear the ditch at Deanlane End in September.
We are also working with BT and West Sussex Highways to tackle a problem at Deanlane End. The BT pipe carrying cable is below the level of the water course when in full flow meaning that debris snags on the pipe slowing the flow. This then has to be cleared by public spirited volunteers – work that is not without risk.
Two other matters: should any resident be finding it difficult to obtain insurance because of flooding related issues, do consider Flood Re – their website is www.floodre.co.uk. This company has been set up to help householders in a flood risk area find affordable insurance.
Also, we have a number of people in the Parish who have volunteered their time and energies should we need help. Do let me know if you’d like to volunteer as well!