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Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group

Update on Flood Event of the night of 15th/16th February 2020.

Since writing the Report dated 18th February, I have been alerted to two further properties which flooded over the same weekend.

These are Mill House, Bache Mill which had about 6 inches of water in one room and the garage of Brook Cottage Peaton.

Highways Dept visited Corfton Bache and Lower Corfton on 10th March and unblocked all the gullies including the final one near Corfton Manor. We have asked that they return as soon as possible and clear out the storm drains in between the gullies and elsewhere.

The residents of Middlehope have removed a troublesome section of hedge and replaced it with a gate through which storm water can flow to the road. This gate can be strutted to withstand the force of flood water when debris builds up behind it in subsequent storms when it will act as an informal leaky dam.

In company with Rhian Townsend from the Flood and Water Management Team Shropshire Council, on the 5th March I visited all the properties which suffered from flooding and we spoke with all the inhabitants.

The coronavirus is having a malign effect on the FAG and not only has the Corvedale Catchment Group Meeting planned at Culmington on 26th March been cancelled but so has the quarterly Steering Group Committee meeting in Shrewsbury, planned for 24th March although there will be a teleconference instead. This Meeting would have provided an update on the activities of Cardiff University and also an opportunity for me to present community feed back from Diddlebury Parish.

Luke Neal from the Shropshire Wildlife Trust has recently had an operation on his foot so will not be able to carry out the survey to see how the leaky dams fared during Storm Dennis for a month or two. I did go and look at some accessible leaky dams below Wilderhope soon after the storm and they appeared to have survived well.

The Government has made funding available to those who suffered flooding and it is available on application to the Shropshire Council, Corporate Finance Dept – contact: Cheryl.Sedgley@shropshire.gov.uk.

G C Neden

Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group


Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group

Below are a set of Notes kindly prepared by Sharon Constable following her attendance at the recent NFF Conference in York.

National Flood Forum (NFF) Conference

National Railway Museum, York

5th March 2020

Notes for FAG

Paul Cobbing, the Chief Executive, gave an excellent opening address on the work of the NFF with flood victims and Government agencies after storms Ciara and Dennis. The need for help has been unprecedented as many homes have experienced delays, disinterest and problems particularly with their Insurance companies.

The NFF have become the voice of many people in flood hit areas as they seek recompense and help from the many agencies involved.

One thing that came out strongly was the question: ”whose water is it” with householders being pinged from one agency to another as no one seems to want to take ownership of care for flooding situations.

The government has promised (prebudget) £4.4 billion over the next 5 years for local authorities to use in flood defences, but the question is how is this money best spent? Shifnal for example have refused their personal flood repair budget for each home in favour of a longer term solution to the cause of flooding upstream. This amounted to £500,000.

The question of agricultural run off was discussed in some of the workshops and what incentives are there to help farmers alleviate this problem. There is Environmental Land Management (ELM) which promises farmers and landowners grants to aid climate change mitigation management among other things. However, this does not come into action until 2021 and it’s take up will depend on farmers signing up.

As a flood victim, the advice given from NFF I took away with me was the mantra “The insurance company is not your friend”.  Given the stories I heard from many victims every piece of advice should be carefully monitored by householders, and building contractors be checked up on as to their expertise - especially on heritage buildings. 

I also attach below Notes from all the workshops which are being collated and sent as a document to DEFRA with the expectation of NFF, Defra and other agencies working together to find a way forward for further climate change mitigation.

A good and informative day. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sharon Constable

Glebe Cottage


19th March 2020

Workshop Notes


  1. Flooding destroys lives
    1. people centric approaches are needed
  2. The challenge is huge and we need to act now.   This is a moment for change
  3. National policy needs to set the scene
    1. to provide a cross society framework
    2. create the ambition
    3. FCERM and Planning White Paper
  4. Strategic coordination and delivery is needed in places
  5. Making it happen
    1. Behaviour – we all have a role
    2. Delivering together – from planning to enforcement
    3. Funding
    4. Communities as equal partners

Future of property protection

  1. Policy changes
    1. Building standards
    2. Planning and development
    3. Insurance
  2. Behavioural change
    1. we all have a role in managing water in our professional and home lives
    2. organisations will need to learn how to work with communities for long term adaptation
  3. Accreditation based on a systems approach
    1. A certificate for all properties

Riparian management and Drainage

  1. Information packs on roles and responsibilities for every property with assets, not just residential ones
  2. Existing owners
    1. explain and educate
    2. update maps and records as much as possible
  3. Enforcement/management
    1. Needs policy and resources to help Lead Local Flood Authorities and other Risk Management Authorities

Surface water management

  1. Planning
    1. Surface water should be regarded as important as Flood Zone 3
    2. Schedule 3 enactment and enforcement
    3. Retrofitting capture of water on existing properties
  2. Remove developer’s right to connect
    1. To highways – need new legislation
    2. Sewers and drainage
  3. Communities are equal partners
    1. Making local decisions
    2. Finance and resources

The role of communities and organisations in a changing world?

  1. Place based local decision making
  2. Working together rather than in silos
  3. Funding for meaningful face to face conversations

Development – Planning not to flood

  1. Better strategic management
    1. Putting resilience at the forefront of a Department for Climate Change policy
  2. Refocus - Don’t let developers run the show
    1. Stricter requirements for developers
    2. Focus more on resilience, rather than numbers of homes
  3. Resources – skills, education, money
    1. Invest in knowledge
    2. Enforcement
    3. Having the right people in place
    4. Communication with everyone involved is key

Catchment area management.

  1. We want a national approach to integrated management
  2. Funding needs to hep catchment based approaches include all stakeholders
  3. How is Government going to align, coordinate and update a catchment based approach

Follow this link to the Codes of Practice for Property Flood Resilience produced by CIRIA .

Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group

Below is a letter sent recently to our local MP, Mr Philip Dunne

Dear Mr Dunne,

Firstly may I congratulate you on your appointment as Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee. It is encouraging to have someone of your background and experience running such an important committee – particularly in these times of climate change.

As you will be aware, the Corvedale suffered from flooding last weekend. Though thankfully we were not affected as badly as Tenbury Wells, there was substantial damage and several properties were flooded.

Yesterday I called round the villages in the Diddlebury Parish to see how they had fared and it was noticeable that there was one common thread to all the comments I received.

This was that the flooding was made worse throughout the Parish by blocked storm drains and gullies. I have written to you – and our local Councillor - before on this problem and attach a Report I prepared for the NFF late last year in which I also highlighted this matter in Paragraph 6.

It seems that the past programme of regular drain and gully cleaning here has fallen away. Knowing the officials involved, I am sure that the problem lies not with them but higher up the chain.

I, and all members of the Flood Action Group, as well as all of the local residents would much appreciate some action being taken on this front. Storms are likely to become more frequent and more violent so it seems a dereliction of duty not to properly maintain the drainage systems already built to deal with flooding.

Of course there are also the causes of these blockages to consider. It appears to us that much of the problem is caused by silt and top soil running off farm fields in storm times and finding its way into the drainage system. We feel sure that our local farmers are aware of this and do their best to minimise it but perhaps forthcoming legislation could provide incentives to encourage such steps if for example, once taken they were to mean loss of arable land to buffer zones.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely

Geoff Neden


Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group


Diddlebury Parish Flood Action Group


Report on Flood Event of the night of 15th/16th February 2020


Diddlebury village

With the land already saturated by Storm Ciara, there was an enormous run off from Storm Dennis. The depth gauge passed the lower alarm level (0.3m) at 11.30pm on the 15th and then the higher alarm level (0.8m) at 1.30 am on the 16th. It peaked at about 1.43m shortly afterwards.  This is approximately 0.5m higher than the peak in October 2019.

As the peak occurred at night, I did not see it but there is much evidence of what happened.

As in October last year, the Diddlebrook burst its banks in the grounds of Glebe Farm and flood waters then came out onto the road causing flooding on the bend by Glebe Farm Cottage. This extended beyond the parking space by the Cottage. A flood mark shows that the water level was about 300mm up the Cottage wall by the gully (Fig 1). However the flood was such that it reverted to the old route of the Brook across the front lawn of Glebe Farm and hence into the path beside Glebe Farm Cottage. The flood gate at the end of this path prevented flood water from the road side entering but also prevented the flood water from the Glebe Farm lawn area from getting away so it must have built up along the length of the house. Given the stone construction of the Cottage, water seeped in all along the wall and most of the ground floor of the house was flooded. This last happened in 2007.

The road beside Diddlebrook Barn flooded and this extended onto the unmade track leading to the Malthouse which was surrounded by flood water (Fig 2). The wooden bridge serving Church Cottage was overtopped (Fig 3) as were the wooden footbridge on the public footpath and the concrete footbridge by Delbury Cottage. The grounds of Delbury Hall were partly inundated. The flooding level on the wall of Diddlebrook Barn was very similar to that in the 2012 event – about 300mm above ground level - and far higher than that in October 2019.

Mill Lane became a watercourse partly as the result of blocked gulleys and storm drains but also due to the amount of water running onto it from the Park lands to the west and off the B road. The green lane between Glebe Farm and Willowbrook was inundated and these flood waters washed a lot of gravel from here onto the road at the entrance to the Delbury Barns courtyard (Fig 4).

On the B4368, there was flooding just west of the village caused by run off from fields to the north (Fig 5). Flood waters came down the Pinstones road and also the concrete driveway opposite Mill Lane (Fig 6)  and these caused flooding at the bridge which was slow to clear because of blocked gulleys (Fig 7). Damage was caused to the new driveway in Bache Mill House. A house immediately north of the bridge was flooded.

The leaky dams above Diddlebury are to be inspected shortly to see how they have coped with the winter storms. This was to have been carried out on Wednesday 19th but had to be postponed due to the wet conditions. I will circulate a Report on the results of this later. Those above Bouldon will also be surveyed shortly.

Elsewhere in the Parish

The road to Peaton was blocked by the River Corve flooding from the bridge onwards and the fields on both sides were watermeadows (Fig 8).


Peaton was badly flooded – the main road through the village was inundated and judging by debris in roadside fences (Fig 9), the water came up nearly a metre and then found its way out via the old route by Brook Cottage. There was also some tree damage (Fig 10).

There was some flooding on the road between Peaton and Peaton Strand but this had cleared by the next day.

Peaton Cottage at Peaton Strand was flooded by about 300mm of water but Church House next door was not.


The flood in the Pye Brook at Bouldon peaked between 1.30am and 2.00am. Prior to that the level rose by over a metre in less than an hour. Sand bags were deployed in the village to barricade properties. The Tally Ho Car Park was flooded to a depth of about 450mm. Bouldon Farm House was not flooded by virtue of the earth berm at the top and the yard gate being closed off before the flood came down (Fig 11). Flood water was flowing across the top of the adjacent bridge. The event was comparable to that in 2012 but less bad than the one in 2007. Flood water was passing over the wall by the waterfall. The problem was made worse by the number of blocked drains and gulleys in and around the village.


Middlehope junction suffered the worst flooding for 16 years and one garage nearby was also flooded to a depth of 150mm and a newly raised driveway was damaged. The culvert overflow pipe beneath the road was blocked as were many chambers. These have now been cleared by local residents and the EMO.


Karray Cottage in Lower Corfton was again flooded for the second time in 3 months. The culvert beneath the road nearby is clearly blocked or undersized and we have asked Highways to look at this on many occasions in the past 3 years.


Given the lack of response from Highways to the Corfton problem and also the apparent lack of any regular maintenance programme to keep drains and gulleys clear, I have written to our MP – who has recently been appointed as Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee – to ask for his assistance.


Fig 1                                              Fig 2                                  Fig 3                                               Fig 4                                               Fig 5