Protecting those downstream


The Local Authority notes: “Future flooding across Dorset is inevitable with the frequency and magnitude of flood incidents expecting to increase due to climate change”.

Dorset’s unique geography gives the county a range of challenges regarding flood risk. The relatively steep clay catchments in the north west of the county are at risk from extreme flash flooding, while the chalk catchments have a tendency to respond more slowly to rainfall. The nature of groundwater flooding means that in certain areas and communities, flooding can last for long periods of time.

The Upper Lydden and Wonston Brook catchments, that almost surround the North Dair Farm, feed into the Upper Stour and Blackmore vale catchment. This sub-area is a seasonally waterlogged catchment, which responds rapidly to rainfall and, because of this, has a dense network of streams and tributaries. Water from this sub-area is a main source of flood risk for areas downstream.

The Authority’s vision and preferred policy (Policy Option 6) for the sub catchment is: “we will take action with others to store water or manage run-off in locations that provide overall flood risk reduction or environmental benefit”. This policy applies to this sub-area for the following reasons:

• This is a large rural sub-area with opportunities for changing how the land is used and possible flood attenuation through improving/maintaining connectivity between channel and floodplain in line with environmental objectives. This will help reduce peak flows and potentially benefit other sub-areas downstream.

So, rather than placing approximately 55 acres of impermeable panels where the catchments meet, it would be more in line with the Environment Agency and Council policy aims to plant extensive riparian buffers, to protect those downstream.

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