Lavant residents help river clearance action

A workman  from the Land and Water Services cleasr out the overgrown vegetation from the River Lavant to aid the water flow.''Photo by Louise Adams C130098-2 Chi River Lavant
A workman from the Land and Water Services cleasr out the overgrown vegetation from the River Lavant to aid the water flow.''Photo by Louise Adams C130098-2 Chi River Lavant

THREE weeks after Lavant residents risked their safety to clear debris from a river, the Environment Agency has finally jumped into action.

The River Lavant, which runs through a number of villages in the Lavant valley, flooded over Christmas.

A brave team of residents took to the swollen river to clear weeds and logs which were blocking its flow.

Although the Environment Agency said it was the job of landowners to keep the river free from debris, workmen from the authority have been tasked with clearance.

Mike O’Neil, operations manager at the Environment Agency, said: “This is part of our annual maintenance cut, which we do to stop blockages.

“We still expect landowners to clear their section of the river, but if there are big blockages which might be prevent the river from flowing properly, residents can report it to us.”

The team started work in Singleton and are working through the villages.

Tony Bleach, also known as ‘Mr Lavant’, said: “We cleared the river because we couldn’t bear to stand back and watch no action being taken to prevent flooding when it was most needed.

“It is difficult to make all landowners clear their patches.”

“Obviously we are pleased the clearance is taking place now, however it seems wrong they should sit and wait for the landowner when there is a situation like the one we had over Christmas.”