Environment Agency

Environment Agency plans start of Kendal flood scheme

The Environment Agency says that now the way has been cleared to build the first phase of Kendal's new flood defences, work will commence as soon as possible.

The agency had been waiting to see whether ministers would order a planning inquiry because some objectors claimed the impact of the scheme on the town centre, where a large number of trees will be felled, had not been properly taken into account.

River Kent in flood

Today ministers confirmed they would not be "calling in" the plans for the first of three phases of construction costing a total of £45m.

A spokesman for the agency said no date had yet been set but the plan was to press ahead with the project.

Carlisle ponders a future of more frequent floods

Caz Graham


In parts of Carlisle people accept they face a future of more frequent floods, and a choice between that and abandoning their homes.

Flood rescue in Warwick Road
Getty Images

When parts of the city, such as the Victorian terraces along Warwick Road were inundated in 2015 because of Storm Desmond, it was for the second time in a decade, and it was the third time Cumbria had seen record rainfall in that period.

People there may not want to leave their homes, but none I spoke to believe ever-higher flood defences are the answer, something also said in the Environment Agency report out today.

John Kelsall, chairman of the Carlisle Flood Action group, says he would be very surprised if any government was prepared to spend £1bn a year, and there might well be parts of the city that could not be lived in.

What you do then is you take on board those areas and you compensate very seriously in those areas, people have already lost equity and can't sell their houses for the same amount that they paid for them."

John Kelsall

Communities with high flood risks 'may have to move'

The Environment Agency is warning that some communities living in areas that are particularly vulnerable to flooding or coastal erosion may need to be rebuilt elsewhere, because of the threat posed by climate change.

Scientists expect climate change to bring more storms with intense rain and more coastal erosion because of rising sea levels and Emma Boyd, who chairs the agency, says a new approach to flood resilience is needed.

Flood rescue

When Storm Desmond hit Cumbria in 2015 more than 7,000 properties were flooded, some of which had been flooded before since 2000.

Last year, the MP for Barrow and Furness, John Woodcock, told Parliament that some people living on Walney Island were worried about their homes being washed away by coastal erosion.

We can’t win a war against water by building away climate change with infinitely high flood defences."

Emma Boyd

Anglers netted in fishing byelaw crackdown

Anglers across the North East are being reminded to ensure they abide by national and local byelaws following a crackdown on illegal fishing.

During the Bank Holiday weekend, enforcement officers from the Environment Agency checked 363 anglers at locations in Durham, Teesside, Tyneside and Northumberland.

Over the three days 17 people were reported for various fisheries offences, most of which were for fishing without a licence.

As well as the rod licence offences, two illegal crayfish traps were discovered and seized.

The agency said it used local knowledge to target waters where evasion and illegal activity was high.

Fisheries enforcement officer
Environment Agency

Money from rod licences goes back into the freshwater and migratory fisheries. People who fish without a rod licence are having a direct effect on the work we can deliver.”

David Shears,Senior enforcement officer, Environment Agency

Flood defences get green light from city planners

The first part of a £25m flood defence scheme for Carlisle was approved by city planners today.

£6m will be spent raising the flood defences at Melbourne Park and land at the entrance to the Tesco supermarket off Warwick Road.

Stuart Mounsey is from the Environment Agency, which is leading the project, said the time had been taken to get the project right and it would be complete by 2020..

A Storm Desmond level of protection was important to the people of Carlisle, so again we had to make sure the design met that, and we had the funding to do that, so all of that does take time."

Stuart Mounsey

Investigation starts into pollution incident near Kendal

The Environment Agency says its staff have been dealing with a pollution incident which left a river outside Kendal flowing "browny-red".

Mint pollution incident
Environment Agency

The agency says the cause of the problem in the River Mint was silt getting washed into the water from work upstream rather than anything more toxic, and its source has been traced.