Flooding in Eversley
Eversley lies in the Blackwater Valley, south of the river. With one exception, the river Blackwater isn’t the cause of flooding which has, instead, resulted from surface water draining from higher land south of the village as it tries to make its way to the river.
Eversley Parish Council has done much work to get to the root of the problem and has engaged, and continues to engage, the Authorities responsible for infrastructure – such as Hampshire County Council and the Environment Agency – to address and prevent flooding from happening. Various studies were conducted by a number of Agencies, but for a variety of reasons were not followed up.
What causes surface water flooding in Eversley?
There’s no short answer as the roots of the problem are very complex. If you want a full analysis, you should read the report Eversley Parish Council published some years ago:
But in summary, we can say that, over the years, watercourses and drainage ditches have been diverted, changed and in some cases filled in as a result of uncontrolled development of village roads and properties. Existing ditches have not been adequately maintained; underground pipes have been blocked or partially blocked; and road drainage in many places is inadequate.
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Definitions and responsibilities
We understand that there are now two “official” categories of watercourses:
- A Main River – which can be little more than a roadside stream. The Environment Agency (EA) has a duty to maintain main rivers, but does not have any locus in respect of ordinary watercourses.
- An Ordinary Watercourse – Ordinary watercourses include anything from a continuously running stream to a normally dry ditch. The prime responsibility for maintenance of ordinary watercourses rests with the owners of land through which they pass. These are called Riparian Owners. But the problem with this is that, where watercourses originate from, or are linked to, large catchment areas and pass through land belonging to a multitude of owners, there is no single Authority that has the power to remedy, or make others remedy, the cause of a problem.
So in Eversley –
- Firgrove Stream is the EA’s responsibility
- Riparian Owners are responsible for the ditches (ordinary watercourses) that run through their land
- Highways (Hampshire County Council) are responsible for maintaining culverts under roads or other road drainage.
The main flood Locations in Eversley:
- Eversley Cross – from Marsh Lane along and adjacent to the B3272 as far as Chapel Meade
- Longwater Road – adjacent to the eastern side between the village pond (B3016) and the Blackwater River
- Eversley Centre – including Chequers Lane and Hollybush Lane
- Eversley Street – both sides of the A327 throughout the Street
- Warbrook Lane.- including the eastern end and as far as Webb’s Corner
- Lower Common – in particular the properties north of the lane that are accessed by unadopted tracks.
- The Ford – including the western end of New Mill Lane.
What can each of us do about flooding?
As explained above, it is the landowner’s legal responsibility to keep clear any ditch or culvert that runs through, or along, the boundary of their land – even if it’s on the road-side of the boundary wall, hedge or fence. For example, the Parish Council owns the playground at Lower Common, so is responsible for clearing the ditch between the playground and the road. As the ditches are often inter-dependent, a blockage in one place can cause a substantial problem elsewhere. So if you are a Riparian landowner, we ask you to be a responsible and good neighbour by:
Not letting your ditches get blocked or overgrown and avoid a build-up of leaves and debris;
making sure that the culvert that connects the ditch either side of your driveway is kept clear;
not tipping garden waste, rubble etc into your or anyone else’s ditch.
What can each of us do about flooding?
You can report potential or actual flooding problems to any one of the following Agencies directly. If you choose to do so, it would be helpful to let the Parish Clerk know so that she can pass on the information to the Parish Councillor who has lead responsibility for flooding issues in Eversley.
Alternatively, if you wish to discuss an issue with the lead Parish Councillor, please contact the Parish Clerk who will put you in touch with him or her.
Environment Agency – https://www.gov.uk/topic/environmental-management/flooding-coastal-change
Hampshire County Council – https://www.hants.gov.uk/landplanningandenvironment/environment/flooding
Eversley Parish Clerk – firstname.lastname@example.org