Background

Since 2005, the Environment Agency’s maintenance and operational activities have been assessed using a risk based approach, focussing on areas of greatest flood risk to people and property.  Where the benefit is mainly to land drainage, the Environment Agency has been reducing the extent of watercourse management and reviewing the continued operation of pumping stations in many rural areas of Cumbria and elsewhere.

In January 2011, the Environment Agency notified land occupiers in the Waver Wampool catchments that it would cease to operate four land drainage pumping stations at Wolsty, Rumbling Bridge, Lessonhall and Gamelsby and funding for channel maintenance would also be reduced.

One option for the future of the pumping stations and channel maintenance is to hand over their operation to the local community by setting up a new Water Level Management Board.   In 2014, the NFU entered into an agreement with the Environment Agency to produce the business cases required to consult on two new Water Level Management Boards including the Waver Wampool in North West Cumbria and the Lyth and Witherslack area of South Cumbria.

A consultation took place in July and August 2015 to determine whether the Waver Wampool community was in favour of establishing a new Water Level Management Board.  The results of the consultation can be viewed in the Consultation section of the website.

The Environment Agency has now announced a further extension to the Notice period until 31st October 2018.  This is to allow for the drafting of amendments to the 1991 Land Drainage Act in relation to the methodology for apportioning the costs of running a Board.  Once the legislation has been drafted, there will be a further consultation on the proposals taking account of responses to the 2015 consultation – for more details see the Latest News page.

Who should I contact to find out more?

For more information, please contact:

Veronica Waller, NFU Farming Liaison Officer Project Manager

E mail:  veronica.waller@nfu.org.uk     Tel: 07587 037088

NFU North West Regional Office, 1 Moss Lane View, Skelmersdale, Lancashire WN8 9TL

Office Tel:  01695 554900

or

Dale Gibbons, Environment Agency Senior Advisor, Flood Risk & Coastal Management based in Cumbria and Lancashire.  Telephone on 02030255729 or email: dale.gibbons@environment-agency.gov.uk

A  Waver Wampool Advisory Group has been set up to keep stakeholders informed and consists of representatives from Local Authority, local landowners, farmers and relevant environmental organisations.

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