Stood in a muddy field next to Dovers Brook with it tippling down, that’s where I was interviewed by Radio Merseyside journalist Mike Perkins as storm Frank was hitting Maghull today.
Dovers Brook in full flood looking north from Sefton Lane on Boxing Day 2015.
Thankfully at noon today the River Alt was not high and neither was Dovers Brook unlike Boxing Day when Maghull was hit by flooding.
Not sure what parts of the interview Radio Merseyside will use but I made comment on the low lying nature of Sefton and how much of it is prone to flooding at times of heavy prolonged rain.
Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day.
I also explained how Whinney Brook flows into Dovers Brook which in turn flows into the River Alt and how when the Alt is too high the process starts to work in reverse causing flooding for parts of western Maghull.
Having lived in Sefton Lane as a lad and teenager I recalled how flooding took place near Dovers Brook back then but that it has got far worse in recent years with 2012 being the worst flooding event.
Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane – The houses were about to be inundated on 26th December 2015.
We also discussed the work the Environment Agency is doing on the Alt to create food zones in fields north east of Lunt and how this almost replicates what used to happen a 100 years ago when the Meadows around the Alt would flood each winter. In very cold weather it would provide a place for folk to ice skate.
Dovers Brook where Sefton Lane becomes Bridges Lane – The houses were about to be inundated.
Maghull & Lydiate have today been suffering from flooding following the torrential rain that has been hitting northern England recently.
The following photos document the scene across the joint communities between 11 am and noon today:-
Hall Lane, Maghull
Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook. He told me the level had dropped by 3ft as he cleared it.
Lambshear Lane, Lydiate
Moss Lane, Lydiate
A swollen River Alt as it just about manages to duck under Bridges Lane near Sefton Village.
Sefton Lane, Maghull
A raging Whinney Brook at Ormonde Drive, Maghull
The worrying issue here is the capacity of the River Alt to take all the flood water from Whinney Brook, Dovers Brook etc. In 2012 it could not take all the water and houses were inundated in Fouracres, Maghull. At the time I took the photos Fouracres was not being flooded. The next few hours will probably be crucial.
With thoughts for all those being flooded or in danger of it.
I have commented before about the problems Dovers Brook causes when it can’t empty out into the River Alt at their confluence just to the north of Bridges Lane on the Maghull/Sefton Civil Parish Boundary.
I have now tracked down a clear photo which I took a while ago, that illustrates the problem well:-
Dovers Brook is to the left and the River Alt to the Right. Dovers Brook backs up when the River Alt has no more capacity to take additional water. The consequences were sadly felt by residents in Fouracres and Sefton Lane the last time this happened in September 2012.
The plan being developed by the Environment Agency will see fields flooded to the east of Lunt and Homer Green when such situations occur in the future I am told.
The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
Posting 1 covered north eastern Lydiate, posting 2 western Maghull & Lydiate, posting 3 eastern Maghull (including Labour’s truly massive urban extension to Maghull) and posting 4 Melling and Aintree Village.
This posting is about land to the south of Maghull. Let’s have a look at a map. Click to enlarge it:-
The site is behind The Crescent and Fouracres and it is not actually in Maghull but in Sefton Civil Parish. The red line in this case is the boundary between Maghull & Sefton Civil Parishes.
The blue area is being promoted for building by a land owner/developer and worryingly parts of it are prone to flooding. Houses in Fouracres were under water in September 2012 due to Dovers Brook over-topping. Part of the site was once proposed to be a nature reserve which sounds a far more sensible use for this land.
The problem here is the River Alt which carries rainwater away from the whole district. Dovers Brook flows into it but when the River Alt is too high the brook can’t discharge its water and the over-topping, as happened in September 2012, can happen. Below is a shot of Dovers Brook when it was in full flood, where in goes under Sefton Lane, Maghull:-
This can’t be a sensible site to develop for housing.
My last posting on this theme will draw all the Green Belt and high grade agricultural issues together in the East Parish part of Sefton Borough.
We can easily forget what beautiful part of the world we live in. Standing with my back to the busy Switch Island this idyllic vista came into view. Historic Sefton Church and Sefton Village are in the background and the raised bunds of the River Alt are on the right together with Jubilee Woods. Just out of shot to the left are the ongoing works to build the new Switch Island to Thornton Link Road – Brooms Cross Road as it is to be called. Also just out of shot on the right is the embankment of the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.
This photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
I got a call last week from the Champion newspaper asking me what I thought about about news that the Environment Agency (I assume) would be investing money to try to help with this problem.
This is the River Alt as it flows under the A59 (Northway) on Maghull’s southern boundary. In the background is the old Cheshire Lines Extension Railway bridge over the Alt which is now used as a footpath.
It seems that investment in Hey Cop Pumping Station, Lower Carr Lane, Great Altcar is to take place and a small sum is also to be invested in some additional work to assist around the Fouracres area of Maghull where very bad flooding hit the community in 2012.
Below is a shot of Whinney Brook where it flows under Ormonde Drive in Maghull:-
Whinney brook flows east to west across Maghull and joins Dovers Brook close to Fouracres. This shot was taken on 9th February 2014 after days to rain had hit Maghull and district.
In turn Dovers Brook (flowing northwards) joins the river Alt north of Bridges Lane. See photo below:-
A very high Dovers Brook in 2012 next to cottages at Bridges Lane/Sefton Lane Maghull. The brook is the boundary between Maghull and Sefton Civil Parishes.
The confluence of Dovers Brook with the River Alt (and indeed another stream called St Helen’s Gutter) is about half a mile north of this point:-
This shot, with Sefton Church in the background, is looking south down the River Alt (it flows north) towards Bridges Lane. Dovers Brook joins at this point on the left of the photo. St Helen’s Gutter joins on the right but you can’t see it due to tall bunds.
Any investment is of course welcome in our local drainage system. However, I still worry that when we encounter the amount of rainfall that we had in 2012 or what the Somerset Levels and western/southern areas of England and Wales are presently suffering from then our flood defences would not be adequate.