Flooding fears over the Broads prompts call for help in finding solutions

PUBLISHED: 12:24 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:39 31 May 2019

Flooding in Norfolk. Pic: Mike Page.

Flooding in Norfolk. Pic: Mike Page.

Mike Page

Norfolk’s wonderful Broads are a major draw for tourists and a haven for rare and threatened wildlife - but flooding is an increasing risk for people living in and around them.

Flooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads AuthorityFlooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads Authority

Experts say the area faces "significant challenges" because of rapid climate change and sea level rise, with habitats and species vulnerable and homes, roads, farming and tourism potentially in danger.

A new strategy is being drawn up aimed at cutting the risk of flooding over the coming century, with the public urged to help forge a way forward to protect the Broads area.

Area such as Great Yarmouth, Breydon Water, Acle, Waxham, Winterton-on-Sea, Hickling, Ludham, Wroxham, Hovetonm, Cantley and Reedham are all in areas liable to flooding.

A review of the way flood management is done was carried out three years ago, using existing information, including projections for changes in the environment, technology and funding.

Flooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads AuthorityFlooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads Authority

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But the Broadland Futures Initiative (BFI), made up of the Environment Agency, Broads Authority, Natural England, internal drainage boards, district and county councils and the National Farmers Union is working on a new strategy.

And they are urging people living in and around the Broads to get involved with that strategy, which will focus on what happens from the mid 2020s onwards.

They say choices being made now can affect future options, so a survey has been launched to help ensure well-informed decisions are made.

Flooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads AuthorityFlooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads Authority

A BFI spokesman said: "Flooding can affect many aspects of community life in our area. Tourism, recreation, the natural environment, agriculture and where we live and work can all suffer adverse impacts as a result of flooding.

"The BFI will make sure that these interlinked interests are all considered, with the full involvement of local communities and other stakeholders.

"We will also gain an appreciation of how aware communities are of the existing situation and what additional information will be needed to help this partnership deliver on its flood risk strategy."

The survey is at Later in the year, the partners will be hosting a series of drop-in events on the issue.

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