The Devon Resilience Innovation Project (DRIP) focuses on 6 catchments of the Culm that experience flash-flooding. Sunday 17 September was a red-letter day for the project as torrential rain fell, causing flash flooding in many locations including the Kentisbeare and Hemyock sub catchments where DRIP officer Lucy Jefferson has been working in the last few months. Water rose quickly, turning roads into rivers (see picture above) and deposited much sediment and gravels into the roads surrounding both villages.
As pictured above Kentisbeare had particularly high levels of sediment deposited in Fore Street which has caused problems for residents and other road users. Lucy is currently working on promoting better soil management upstream of Kentisbeare to reduce soil loss, whilst leaky dams are also planned to slow the flow of the River Ken and reduce flooding and sediment wash. With a series of Nature Based Solutions planned from the Blackborough Ridge to the village it is hoped that an impact can be made on the intensity of the flash flooding. Work is also planned for the area downstream of the ford at Goodifords, again aiming to reduce the level of flooding in this area.
Several site visits have also been carried out with the Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer and these are proving to be useful in combining Nature Based Solutions work with water management around the farmyard itself. Combined projects will therefore aim to reduce both flooding and improve water quality for the Culm.
DRIP has also been attending the Stakeholder Management Group for the Culm Garden Village Masterplan, and has highlighted the need for biodiversity and flooding outcomes to be spread into the wider catchment of the Culm, not solely focused within the Development Boundary. These recommendations have been included in the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for the Development.