LETTERS: What next for the river?

Vanburgh Gardens. Picture by Robin Cooper
Vanburgh Gardens. Picture by Robin Cooper
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I know it is too late to stop the extravagance of the flood walls, however, I would like you to consider the attached photographs in the following context.

The first looking downstream from the Telford bridge shows quite clearly the effects of the lack of maintenance of our river.

Picture by Robin Cooper 'Vanburgh Gardens

Picture by Robin Cooper 'Vanburgh Gardens

The river is now only about one third of the width it was when I moved to Morpeth 40 years ago.

The wall on the left went straight down into the water and that on the right had only a narrow strip for the footpath.

Prior to the centralisation of the Environment Agency, the local river authority would regularly dredge, taking their JCB etc. in via a ramp near the toilets (until recently, the gate to this ramp had fallen apart through lack of use).

The view up-river shows clearly that one of the three arches that Telford built, is almost completely blocked both upstream, downstream and within the arch itself.

It seems that the faceless ‘powers that be’ prefer to spend our money on higher and higher walls, rather than the simple expedient of removing accumulated silt and gravel.

I presume that in a few year’s time as the river gets even narrower, the walls will have to be made even higher?

Robin Cooper,

Vanburgh Gardens,

Morpeth