Flood infrastructure in particularly poor state in areas across northern England which have faced major flood alerts in recent days, Greenpeace finds
More than 3,400 crucial flood defence assets across England were found to be in poor condition after inspection last year, figures seen by Greenpeace’s investigative arm Unearthed show.
The data, from the Environment Agency via a Freedom of Information Request, shows 3,460 “high consequence” flood defence assets were rated as being in poor or very poor condition in 2019/20, encompassing six per cent of all such defences in England.
“High consequence” assets are defined by the EA as “flood defence assets that contribute to managing flood risk in a location where the consequence on people and property of an asset failing is high”.
It comes amid growing concern about the increasing severity and frequency of flood events in England in recent years, which are being made more likely by the changing climate. The EA has repeatedly warned that both flooding as well as drought are expectected to hit harder at differing times of the year as the impact of climate change continues to grow in the coming decades.
And even today, settlements across northern England continue to battle flooding after Storm Christoph brought heavy rainfall to several regions, prompting Greenpeace to warn that failure to maintain existing flood defence assets was leaving communities at risk. In Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Shropshire, South Yorkshire, the West Midlands, and Worcestershire – all of which have had flood alerts