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Storm drains overflowing in Powburn

Storm Frank: storm drains overflowing

[All images © Robbie Burn 2016 – used with permission]

In the wake of Storm Frank (29 – 30 December 2015), north Northumberland continues to experience heavy rain. The recent storms (beginning with Storm Abigail on 12 December 2015) have caused structural damage, uplifted several trees, destroyed iconic views, left fields flooded and a number of roads currently barely passable.

On the evening of 3 December 2015, local residents helped to avert flooding in Powburn. However, the relentless rain over the past few days continues to cause concern for Powburn residents. Several of the storm drains are blocked. There are problems with more than a few drains around Powburn but a number on the A697 South of the village are causing concern.

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Desmond demolishes iconic view

The gales and heavy rains of Storm Desmond that have been sweeping across the UK over the past few days have been wreaking havoc. However, the effects in the Breamish Valley have been manageable (unlike the conditions for many people in the West of England who are still recovering from flooding of their homes). On 3 December, potential flooding in Powburn was averted by the swift action of local residents. There was also a power outage in Powburn and surrounding villages overnight on 4-5 December for about 20 hours. And, as the high winds continued, a number of trees have been damaged and toppled.

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Christmas Crafts success

Christmas Crafts success…and Santa too!

The Christmas Crafts and Santa event that took place in the Breamish Hall on Saturday 28 November 2015 was a great success.

This is an annual event in Powburn and more people than ever attended this year. In fact, it was so successful that £490.00 was raised for good causes.

As usual, there were a number of Christmas crafts stalls and the light lunch of soup and bread roll, with a lovely cup of tea or coffee went down very well.

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Powburn flooding averted

Powburn flooding prevented by locals

On Thursday night (3rd December) heavy rain caused flooding in Powburn. Water streamed down from the Glanton road and the A697 into the heart of the village flooding the pub car park and down to the bridge over the Pow Burn.

About twenty villagers turned out in the dark and torrential rain to help. The emergency sandbags stored at the Breamish Hall were filled by one team, another team delivered them whilst another began stemming the flow down the Glanton road.

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Hedgeley Lakes Autumn views

Hedgeley Lakes Autumn colours

A couple of days ago I walked to and around the Hedgeley Lakes, Powburn. This one-time gravel quarry is now an interesting conservation area under the management of Hedgeley Estates. Even though it doesn’t have the same aspect as Branton Nature Conservation Area (Branton NCA has more planting that breaks up the eye line/skyline around its borders), it has much to offer. There’s wildlife in abundance and the local bird hide provides a welcome place to stop and observe the goings on. The central island was lowered about a year or so ago on the advice of conservationists, who advised that lowering it would encourage more birds to nest there. Indeed, this seems to have worked.

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Riverbank erosion control tested

With Storm Abigail (the first storm to be officially named by the UK Met Office) hitting the UK earlier than forecast it’s quickly made its way up to Northumberland today. We experienced some torrential rain overnight, accompanied by gale-force winds. Unsurprisingly, this has swollen the River Breamish. Now, for the first time since it was constructed at the end of September this year, the riverbank erosion control measures near Brandon farm have been tested.

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