There is no let up, and I really feel for the families and businesses that have been affected by it all. Somerset in particular has been hit hard and seen the worst of it. I really hope that everyone affected has some respite and are given the support they need in order to get back on their feet and rebuild the homes and business that have been damaged by the flood waters.
A lot of blame has been thrown around in the media and although we cannot control mother nature and the weather, could more preventative measures have been made to stop the damage it has caused.
The rivers across the country are full to the brim with a lot spilling over the banks. This also has the knock on effect with all the standing water that should flow into the rivers from drains and the land not being able to as the rivers are so full.
So what is the solution? I certainly don't know as I am no Environment Agency Specialist nor water engineer qualified to pass judgement. I do think however that more should be spent on the erection of the flood defence barriers that have worked so well in Bewdley. They have no doubt saved a lot of properties from certain flooding and if anything positive is to come out of this flooding it should identify where the critical points are so more of these type of barriers can be installed.
River dredging in the summer months may also work or at least give the rivers more depth to ease the strain at peak times.
From an Angling perspective, it has hit our river anglers with for example the Wye Winter League being a total washout with the last match fished in early December and the potential to be 3 out of 8 rounds completed.
Who knows where the fish end up as well, with the amount of power in the water I would think a lot of the smaller fish will end up being washed out if they do not find suitable slack waters to shelter in.
Also the state of the banks will be affected, with damage and erosion. I know a lot of clubs spend a great deal of money and time looking after their waters and bank sides and there is a real possibility that most of it will be damaged and in need of a lot of work once the waters recede.
It has been a bad winter for the anglers and with no let up in the rain expected, I doubt there will be a lot of time spent fishing on the nations rivers until June with the close season kicking in next month.
When the waters do go down I've no doubt that small army's of clubs and anglers and will be out in force cleaning up the stretches of rivers affected by this and restoring them the best they can. I tip my hat to those people and clubs as pure bank side guardians, who care for the environment as if it were their own garden. It has been known for angling to get bad press from the anti's and some environmentalists but will those same people be out cleaning up Britain's waterways voluntarily in the coming spring? I very much doubt it, where as it will be the anglers spending the time, money and effort out there restoring the riverbanks to safe, clean and natural states ready for the summer.
The very best of British to those hardy volunteers.
Photos used below were taken from BBC and Dave Harrell Angling