Winter has been worst ever for flooding at Peterborough's Ferry Meadows

Park staff at Ferry Meadows are once again dealing with the effects of heavy rainfall at the park - with this winter described as the worst ever for flooding.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 5:00 am
Flooding at Ferry Meadows and Nene Park has been a common occurrence this year

Throughout the winter, heavy rain has caused floods at the park, meaning visitors have not been able to access all of the park - and causing maintenance issues for the park team.

Peterborough has seen the wettest winter for many years.

A spokesman for the park said water levels are currently rising around the park, and the back of Gunwade Lake, Long Meadow, Ferry Walk, Ham Mere, paths around Lynch Lake, Ham Bridge, Bluebell Wood, Thorpe Meadows, Woodston Reach and the Rural Estate are once again flooded and not currently accessible.

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Greg Higby, Park Manager, said this year had been the worst he could remember - and because of climate change, he was expecting it to get worse in the future.

He said; "The water levels of the River Nene and both Gunwade and Overton lakes have risen over the banks a number of times over the winter months. This has resulted in the submerging of the floodplain meadows (comprised of Heron, Short and Long Meadow); footpaths used for access for our park visitors; and hedges and bushes which mark out boundaries between land, fields and footpaths.

"Flooding in Ferry Meadows and across Nene Park seems to be more frequent and widespread this year than in any I can recall in my many years working at Nene Park. Our climate is changing and the long-term climate forecast for wetter winters will mean we will see more flooding at Nene Park.

"Flooding leaves behind substantial debris which consists of different materials like bottles, wood and paper waste. Removing this debris will be the first task the Park management team will do once the flood water has receded.

"We have to remember that Ferry Meadows was created with a dual purpose to provide parkland and facilities for our many visitors, but also to take excess water from the River Nene to help flood protection for the people and property of Peterborough."

Trevor Robbins-Pratt, from Peterborough Weather Watch, said the rainfall in December and January was a record for his data.

He said: "I recorded 105.5mm of rain in January, which equates to 224% of the Long Term Average(LTA) for rainfall in my data(2006-2020) which is a record for January for me, and December was also a record for me, with 131.9mm, which is around 278% LTA for the month.

"So a huge 2 month rainfall total of 237.4mm, when my combined average for the two months is around 94.5mm."