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Flood Maintenance work at Kelfield Ings

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Flood Maintenance

We have received a number of comments and enquiries about some flood maintenance work we have carried out on an embankment at Kelfield Ings, on the River Ouse, eight miles downstream of York.

Kelfield Ings is part of the Three Washlands along with Riccall Ings and Cawood Ings, which help better protect the village of Cawood and the surrounding area from flooding, along with an Environment Agency flood wall in the village.

This type of maintenance work on flood embankments requires us to cut back grass so that we can check that defences are structurally sound and there is nothing jeopardising this such as badger setts or mole infestations. These can pose a real risk to our flood defences by causing a bank to leak or even breach during a flood - and with more than 400 properties at risk of flooding in the Cawood area, this type of maintenance work is essential.

A typical maintenance routine involves cutting the grass two or three times per year. We always aim to restrict any essential maintenance to the embankments and not the fields or meadows more widely. We regret that on this occasion it meant cutting down wildflowers, which are not only beautiful but provide habitat. We will review our schedule for maintenance at this location so that in future this work can be carried out earlier in the season, before wildflowers have grown.

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  1. Comment by Dr Mick Phythian posted on

    We repeatedly hear this argument so why when you claim to have an assent to cut Clifton Ings SSSI in April leave it nearly three weeks before cutting and leave the arisings to rot and create other issues. It has never been cut this early in 30 years and doing it so late lost Tansy plants and Tansy Beetles (protected) and probably a host of other invertebrates. The three cuts argument contradicts and other scientific research that shows developing a stronger sward helps the banks whereas cutting in this manner will weaken them. The EA is not a fit guardian for the environment when it behaves like this. How many other areas along the Ouse that support Tansy Beetles has the EA cut at wrong time this year?

  2. Comment by Linda posted on

    I live very close to the river Trent at Gainsborough, Lincs and the river was partly up the banks earlier in the year. I regularly walk on the banks. They are covered in mole hills and I remember when I was growing up in a different area near this river seeing dead moles and rats hung on fences near the river. My father and grandfather both worked for the Trent River authority and so I learned lots about it. A rat and mole killer was employed to control them and minimise the damage they did to the banks to keep the bank defences structurally sound. They can pose a real risk to the flood defences by causing banks to leak or breach during a flood. The bank near the Trent bridge at Gainsborough needed repairing earlier in the year.

    Why is nothing being done to control the problem on the Trent banks?
    Who is responsible for their maintenance?

  3. Comment by anthony wellard posted on

    What is the reason the EA do not plant trees along the embankments, this would improve the strength of the banks with the root growth.
    Albeit make grass cutting more labour intensive but surely the benefits out way the problems ?


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