Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Volunteers clear danger ditch

A pair of volunteers cleared a ditch to prevent flooding at an elderly widow’s home.

On Tuesday, November 11, ECFRS volunteers Peter Glover and Steven Pepperell visited Joan Saville’s home near Highwood in Ongar and cleared 50 metres of overgrown water drainage ditch which was creating flood risk.

Assistant Divisional Officer Richie Farrant, who is on secondment with Essex County Council’s Flood and Water Management team, said: “Mrs Saville has a ditch which runs along the side of her house and it would regularly flood when there was heavy rain.

“Her husband used to clear the ditch but he died some time ago. Since then there has been no one to keep it clear. I visited to assess the problem and realised that something needed to be done quickly. I put an urgent call out to our Service volunteers and Steven and Peter put themselves forward.

“They did a fantastic job. It’s difficult and dirty work and the two of them cleared all of the overgrown plant and weeds from the ditch restoring it to a fully functional condition. Thanks to their efforts Mrs Savilles’s home is now far safer from the risk of flooding.”

Previously volunteers have helped fire and flood management officers in large scale ditch clearance projects but this was the first time Service volunteers have undertaken flood risk management work on their own.

Essex County Fire Service has teamed up with Essex County Council to form the Essex Flood and Water Management Alliance. The Alliance has already carried out a number of successful large scale flood prevention ditch clearances throughout the county.

If you would like to join Peter and Steven and volunteer for ECFRS learn more by clicking here.

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