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RAIN project invites Northants communities to gather to discuss flood resilience

With the second anniversary of the Christmas 2020 floods approaching, a special event is being held in the village of Brigstock, Northamptonshire, on Monday 12 December, which is the first to take place by a new flood innovation and resilience project that is soon to launch across the Harpers Brook and Wootton Brook catchments of the county. 

Funded by Defra as part of the Flood and Coastal Innovation Programmes, and managed by the Environment Agency, Resilience And Innovation Northants (RAIN) is one of 25 local authority-led flood resilience projects, which is focused on developing, testing and implementing innovative flood risk solutions for locations deemed at risk of flooding.

The event on Monday 12 December, from 3pm-6pm at Brigstock village hall, invites homeowners, landowners and farmers from Brigstock, Sudborough and Lowick to meet the RAIN project and learn more about the project’s plans. 

Alan Ryan from the West Northants Flood and Water Team confirms: “With climate change upon us, we must get ready for the unavoidable impacts by adapting and helping communities to become more resilient.  Since 2012, around 350 flood incidents have been reported across the two Northants catchments that RAIN is focusing on.

“Our aim is to therefore work with these communities to embrace a broad range of resilience actions to better protect and prepare against flooding. This includes using nature-based solutions to store or slow the flow of flood waters, and better preparing and responding to flood incidents through timely and effective forecasting, warning, evacuation and resilience measures.

“The RAIN project is about to launch in early 2023, however we wanted to visit some communities before Christmas to start introducing our team, to listen to people’s concerns and to really engage with local people on this important matter.”

Adds Mary Long-Dhonau OBE, PFR advisor for RAIN: “Almost two years ago, villagers from Brigstock, Sudborough and Lowick experienced dreadful flooding when Harper’s Brook burst its banks, combined with a deluge of surface water flooding.  Having been flooded myself, it is a completely appalling experience and I have since worked for more than two decades to support communities prepare, plan and become more resilient to flooding.  

“We therefore look forward to meeting people from across Brigstock, Sudborough and Lowick on 12th December to introduce ourselves and to listen to residents’ personal experiences or concerns.”

The £150 million Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme will enable local authorities, businesses and communities in these locations to test and demonstrate innovative practical resilience actions.

The RAIN project brings together experts in both flood resilience and natural flood management, as well as many specialist partners, to provide information, education and support to those living and working in the Harpers Brook and Wootton Brook catchments. 

For more information regarding the RAIN project, visit https://www.facebook.com/RAINnorthants, follow the team on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RAIN_Northants or email RAIN@westnorthants.gov.uk.

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