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Elaine Q View Drop Down
Village Voice
Village Voice


Joined: 05 February 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 240
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    Posted: 31 March 2015 at 9:57pm
A free, practical guide to help rural communities protect
themselves from flooding is now available from Community Impact Bucks.

The Community Guide to Your Water Environment has been
produced by the charity’s national body ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural
England), in partnership with FWAG (Farming Wildlife Advisory Group), the NFU
(National Farmers Union) and the CCRI (Countryside and Community Research
Institute).

Supported by Defra (Department for Environment, Food &
Rural Affairs) and the Catchment Based Approach, the guide aims to help
communities understand the importance of water in their local area – and
especially the impact of extreme weather.

It offers guidance on how communities can work with everyone
from farmers and the Environment Agency to local authorities and drainage
boards to reduce the risks of flooding and drought. It also explains how to
protect water quality and biodiversity by taking action locally.

It features a step-by-step guide to developing a community
project to manage your water, details of resources that will help you, and case
studies of communities who have got stuck in to care for water environments
across England.

There’s also advice on getting your own house in order,
including saving water, keeping a healthy septic tank, avoiding pollution, use
of garden chemicals and blocked drains.

Nick Phillips, Chief Executive Community Impact Bucks said:
“The floods of recent years got many local communities thinking about how they
could protect their villages from the worst of the weather.

“However, people are confused by the number of individuals,
agencies and authorities involved in managing the water environment. There’s a
genuine lack of knowledge about how to take local action to map ditches,
rivers, meadows and streams to see how they might be better managed to work
within their natural ecosystem.

“This new guide sets out to put communities on the right
path to working with others to be more prepared for extreme events, such as
flooding and droughts, while protecting the purity and biodiversity of local
waterways.

“The process of mapping the water flow explains why areas
are flooding – often due to blocked or re-routed drains. Residents of all ages
have a part to play. Older people often have local knowledge that goes back to
before flooding was an issue, while younger people can get involved in clearing
streams and ditches.

“The guide features the stories of communities who have
‘been there and done that’ and shows how they have reaped the benefits of
getting together to solve problems.”

Jenny Phelps, of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group,
said: “Land management is key to helping find solutions to the water
environment to build resilience and preparedness for communities.

“Farmers often have essential knowledge and resource to help
manage the local environment and are an essential part of the team. Communities need to value and work with the
farming community from the start so plans can be drawn up in partnership for
the benefit of both farm businesses, the community and the water environment.”

The ACRE guide, sponsored by environmental consultant Enzygo
Limited, is available to download free from www.communityimpactbucks.org.uk
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