Natural Flood Management
In the Winter and Spring of 2014 serious flooding affected the parish, in particular the villages of Stoke and St Mary Bourne.
The parish council began working with Defra, Hampshire County Council, the Environment Agency and the other parishes of the Bourne Valley on a Community Pathfinder Project to build our flood resilience. A report and action plan was published in April 2016. Appendix 9 sets out the action plan for Stoke and St Mary Bourne.
Since 2016 the Flood & Emergency Group has been working to raise funds to carry out the actions in the report. So far the following projects have been completed:
- The river has been regraded from the SSE substation to the bridge at Stoke removing tonnes of silt and rubble to improve flow and capacity along the river.
- The bridges at the SSE station, Stoke and the Gangbridge have been jetted by Hampshire Highways to remove obstructions to the river flow.
- The culvert under the B3048 at Jones Farm in Stoke has been doubled by Hampshire Highways to prevent run off onto the road.
- The river bed on both sides of Swampton bridge has been cleared of silt and the bank on the school side built up to prevent run off onto the B3048.
- The river banks along Gangbridge Lane have been restored and stabilised using willow planting to reduce run off onto the road.
The last part of the project was to restore river flow in the river as it passes the lake in St Mary Bourne. The parish council worked with the riparian owners, the Wessex Chalkstream & Rivers Trust, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency on a project to restore the banks, improve flow and improve habitat.
This work is now complete, and is regularly monitored by The Watercress and Winterbournes Joint Partnerships. More information is available from: https://www.hiwwt.org.uk/watercress-and-winterbournes/partners