ESSENTIAL works to decrease flood risk for more than 200 homes is being carried out in Ponteland.
Over 300 tonnes of trees, weeds, silt and earth have already been removed by the Environment Agency over the past few months.
The £29,000 project follows a survey which showed that reducing the channel roughness of the River Pont would substantially lower the chances of it bursting its banks.
The works are part of the organisation’s maintenance programme in the area, due to be completed in the next couple of weeks. They should ensure that the defences are helping to protect homes from flooding as well as they did when they were first built.
Flood Officer Simon Eadington said: “Our maintenance work is essential for keeping defences working as effectively as they were originally intended.
“The Ponteland project will play an important part in helping to reduce flood risk to hundreds of homes in the area, as well as making the riverside look more pleasant.
“Flood defences are vital for protecting homes from flooding but people at flood risk should also protect themselves by signing up to free flood warnings and making a flood plan. For more information, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood”
These works build on a scheme in 2011 that involved increasing the height of two flood walls in the centre of Ponteland, raising the flood bank in Ponteland Park and boosting the height of the Waitrose supermarket ramp.
In addition, Environment Agency staff have in recent years repaired sections of the flood bank along Eland Lane that had slumped, re-pointed the walls and replaced the expansion joints between the Diamond Inn and the Seven Stars on both banks to ensure they remain watertight and removed some large trees from the channel behind the Seven Stars and between Fox Covert Lane and Berwick Hill Bridge.