Monthly Archives: December 2013

Braunton Tug of War 2013 on video!

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Check out River Caen’s water level online

20131224-083409.jpgThe Environment Agency keep an updated record of the level of Braunton’s River Caen here. With thanks to Ben Byrom and Simon Tattersall for pointing this out in their recent flood update.

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Father Christmas in Braunton with helpers from Caen Rotary Club!

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Carol Singing with the Museum of British Surfing and St Brannocks Church Choir

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Braunton Library Christmas opening times

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Braunton Flooding – a year on

On 22nd December 2012, just 6 months after the Environment Agency had completed a £1.2m flood defence scheme in Braunton, the River Caen overtopped its banks, causing as much damage as the previous such event in 2004.

The rain fall in 2012 was more than the scheme was designed to manage and together with 2 small trees washed down and obstructing one bridge, the effect was flooding for over 60 properties with the worst of those in Caen Street – flooded to a depth of 4 feet. This resulted in 5 properties in the commercial heart of the village remaining closed for months.

After the initial shock, a small group of traders decided that action must be taken to find a long term solution to the cycle of flooding as Braunton has been flooded 21 times in the last 118 years – a staggering statistic.

The Parish Council were approached by the traders group to bring together all agencies that could possibly be involved and get them around the table together. From this we now have good relationships with them all.

2013 has seen some progress.

  • The Environment Agency has further upgraded the defence scheme and more vegetation clearing on the riverbank has been undertaken
  • Highways have looked into moving the Caen street drainage system outlet further downstream, but this is not viable as there is little fall
  • Braunton Parish Council has appointed Ben Byrom as River Warden and Ben has been involved with all of the agencies from the day of the flooding
  • Devon County Council, as Lead Flood Authority, has initiated a study of the whole Braunton water catchment area by Jacobs Engineering to better understand the flood risk and what action can be taken to mitigate it. This study involves all agencies and includes the traders group as contributors
  • Several property owners have written to the Environment Agency, Devon County Council and our MP expressing their concerns about flooding. We know that Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns, Lloyds Pharmacy, Tiki International and Webbers have done so, and we think that Lloyds Bank and Warrens have as well.
  • Emergency phone numbers have been widely disseminated. These are for river obstructions, highways and drainage.
  • The local Emergency Plan is being updated and is just about to be launched
  • We are now able to watch the river gauges ourselves on line, so if you want to see the water level at Butts Bridge (by the Memorial Gardens) see this web page: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/riverlevels/120725.aspx?stationId=3346

What will 2014 bring?

  • Hopefully the Jacobs’ study will point the way to a long term solution to the flooding problem, but the BIG message is that self help / civic resilience – call it what you like – will be key to defending the village against future flooding. Several properties on Caen Street now have flood barriers, the river is regularly inspected for potential problems and everyone is encouraged to be aware of blocked drains or other such hazards and report them immediately
  • Braunton has secured funding to place four ¾ tonne bunkers that will contain loose sand and bags for use in a flood situation. The placing of these will be announced shortly
  • Early in 2014 we are going to organise with the Parish Council, Caen Rotary Club and the Environment Agency a sandbagging evening – see just how effective a properly constructed sandbag wall can be!
  • There will be the launch of the Braunton Emergency plan when we will be asking skilled people in the community to register and anyone who would like to volunteer to help in any kind of village emergency.
  • We still need to work hard for 2 areas of the village that were badly affected with flooding both through poor surface water drainage and from river water. These areas are Deans Bridge by St Brannocks Church and South Street. We are talking to different agencies to try and get to the bottom of the these problem areas
  • During 2013 we must have put in 100’s of hours with letters, emails, phone calls, press coverage, trader updates and meetings and we will continue until we can see a drier future for Braunton!

More information from.

Ben Byrom – 01271 812295
Simon Tattersall – 01271 830810

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Introducing 1st Chivenor Scout Group

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Ring & ride into Braunton a new fortnightly service commencing on 2nd January 2014* into Braunton village or the local supermarket

Collecting passengers from Ashford, Braunton, Croyde, Georgeham, Heanton, Saunton and Wrafton. Single or return journey £4. For passengers wishing to travel on 2nd January, please ensure you have booked your seat by midday on 24th December. For more information, timings and to book, please telephone 01271 328866 Open Monday to Friday 9.15am – 4pm (The office will be closed from 25th December and will reopen on Thursday 2nd January 2014) Go North Devon Ltd, The Shopmobility Centre, Barnstaple EX32 8RL www.gonorthdevon.co.uk *This is a trial service which will be reviewed at the end of March 2014

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26 Dec – Get ready for the Annual Braunton Tug of War!

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Ramblers Festival of Christmas Walks

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You know you’ve made it when…

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Christmas Services at St Anne’s

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20 Dec – Christmas Carols at Surf Museum

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Musical Memories

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23 Jan – author visit to Braunton Library

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20 Jan – Braunton Access Group

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Building starts on old bank building

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24 Dec – Don’t miss the Crib Service for the kids!

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New Parish Councillor for Braunton

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Are these the best Christmas lights in Braunton?

As you can see from the picture below, a private house in Chestnut Close on Acland Park in Braunton has made a spectacular effort with their Christmas lights in aid of the NDDH Chemotherapy Unit. Why not take a visit and give a donation?

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