Flooding: could you be a flood volunteer?

On 23rd and 24th December 2020, at the end of a difficult year for many, the River Great Ouse burst its banks amid extremely heavy rainfall, and serious flooding hit Buckingham.

Many local residents immediately jumped to the aid of their neighbours. From turning up with buckets or supplying water pumps to help clear water to opening their homes to those in need, many people did what they could to help. Buckingham Free Meals, led by 14-year-old Sulayman, coordinated free hot food and drinks and ongoing food parcels. The Bard of Buckingham, Dean Jones, launched a fundraiser to support those flooded with rebuilding their lives. The more than £17,000 raised will be held and distributed by the Town Council based on decisions made by an independent panel.

Staff from Buckingham Town Council joined those from Buckinghamshire Council and Transport for Buckinghamshire to help close roads, deliver sandbags and clear up the mess. It took over a week to sanitise and reopen play areas and the public toilets, as well as clearing large amounts of debris from across the parks. The Council’s Shopmobility unit was flooded, and some equipment damaged.

The Council passed on a flood alert from the Environment Agency in the morning of 22nd December. Unfortunately, the EA’s flood gauge does not appear to have been working correctly, and no Flood Warning was issued.

The Town Council are reviewing the Community Flood Action Plan. Any suggestions for changes would be gratefully received. The Council are also looking to sign up Flood Volunteers to help with future floods and other emergencies. Residents from homes NOT at risk of flooding are ideal for this role, as those directly affected are less able to immediately help others. If you are interested in volunteering please email admin@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

The Town Council now has a direct arrangement with the Bucks and Oxon Response Group (BORG) who will again be prepared to use their 4×4 vehicles to help with any future events.

25,000 Chub and Dace added to the River Great Ouse

An extra 25,000 Chub and Dace were added to the River Great Ouse today, 12th July, along the stretch between Radclive to Thornborough Mill by the Environment Agency.

This is the second restock by the Environment Agency in the Buckingham area after a pollution incident in the summer of 2018, and is a great step forward for the recovery of the river. Other positive signs have been noted by residents and River Wardens in the last year, including video footage of otters emerging from the river.

Today’s restock took place near Hunter St Bridge and in Bourton Park within Buckingham.

To learn more about how you can be involved in caring for the river in Buckingham, read about the River Wardens scheme on our Buckingham Parks page.