Kendal protesters vow to protect the town against ‘ineffective’ flooding plan

DEMONSTRATORS showed in Gooseholme Park in Kendal to protest ‘ineffective and costly’ flooding defence plans.

Members of the public gathered at the park carrying signs reading ‘No Concrete Walls’ and ‘David Attenborough would be disappointed’ as they protested against the plans.

The group ‘Save The Heart of Kendal’ turned out to demonstrate against the flood defence plans under way by the Environment Agency.

The scheme includes building a 6km wall along the River Kent, which could be 2m in height.

The construction would also see the felling of more than 500 mature and established trees.

The event saw speeches from members Emily Davis and Chloe Parker before an open forum started with members of the public.

Emily said: “I’ve lived in Kendal for two and a half years, and I care about this town.

“We want to give a voice to the people affected by this.

“They want to build a wall which would divide this town in half, as well as fell over 500 trees with this plan. It is not beneficial to the economy or the heart of this community.

“The River Kent is a protected area of conservation but where will the protection be with this plan?

“We want to put this on pause and get a review in place.”

Chloe said: “For me my biggest concern is that a natural flood management scheme; upland management, would be way more effective in protecting Kendal from further flooding and would not result in environmental degradation.

“The EA said they would consider all options but this has been off the table from the start and I can find no evidence that they would consider.”

Stewart Mounsey, EA flood risk manager, said: “Construction of the £76m Flood Risk Management Scheme for Kendal is progressing, with contractors now starting work to build a flood defence wall along the River Kent near to Clarks. The works in this location will take around five months to complete and will involve building 114 meters of flood defence wall, constructed on top of six metres of sheet piling. When finished, the wall will be finished in smooth concrete with sections being topped with a handrail. Sadly, some trees will need to be removed, but we are committed to planting species-rich grasslands and 4000 trees across the area.”

The Westmorland Gazette | News