Press release

Military support urgent flood defence inspections in South West

The Environment Agency was today joined by military personnel as it starts the inspection of flood defences across the South West.

Military personnel carry out flood inspections on behalf of the Environment Agency in the South West.

The Environment Agency will be inspecting more than 30,000 flood defence assets across the south west. This will include defences around the whole south west coast from Bristol to Bournemouth and along the many thousand miles of main-river within the region.

Flood defences across the South West have been put under significant pressure following the wettest winter since 1766, combined with high tides and storms.

The defences need to be inspected to ensure they remain in good working order. Environment Agency surveyors and engineers will then take action at sites which need further action.

Support is being provided by the Ministry of Defence to ensure the task is completed as quickly as possible.

The military personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and RAF have been trained by Environment Agency asset inspectors and can now support the assessment and use an electronic system to report back their findings.

“This is a huge task for the Environment Agency, with miles of coastline, river banks, defences, including over 30,000 assets, to be inspected throughout the South West. The support we are receiving from the military is fantastic. It will allow us to complete this review rapidly and identify priority sites for repair,” said Neal Ricketts for the Environment Agency.

Work begins this week and will be completed in the next few weeks.

For media enquiries from the national and specialist media, call the national media team on 020 3263 8205 during office hours, or email us at pressoffice@environment-agency.gov.uk.

For urgent media enquiries out of hours call the duty press officer on 07798 882092.

Published 6 March 2014