Flooding in Five Oak Green is being mitigated at source thanks to the efforts of the South East Rivers Trust (SERT) which has installed a number of natural flood defences along the upper course of the Alders Stream.
Greg was delighted to inspect SERT's work this morning, which has included the installation of over 90 leaky dams in the Alder's Stream catchment area over the past year.
The stream flows through a steep valley of wet woodland, with the boggy terrain largely inaccessible to heavy machinery. The dams were constructed by hand with skilled forestry contractors using timber available on-site. They work by holding back water in the upper catchment, slowing the flow of flood water and reducing the flood risk at Five Oak Green.
The structures have multiple benefits. Holding and retaining water in the wet woodland increases this threatened habitat’s resilience to climate change. The structures also collect large volumes of silt and debris from the stream, improving water quality.
SERT has also installed fencing around parts of ancient woodland in the area in order to allow the woodland to naturally recover and expand, creating a healthier ecosystem over time. More plants and trees will help intercept and absorb rainfall, storing more water and reducing flood risk downstream.
Greg was joined by (L-R) Charles Mackonochie (Flood Warden for Capel Parish Council) Hester Liakos (Chief Executive of SERT) Tim Sanderson (Chair of Five Oak Green Flood Action Group) and Tom Harrisson (Catchment Officer at SERT).