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There is a articulation amid the Trinity Academy beef (Cambridge academy backyard dug up by XR protesters, 18 February) and the calamity on which you additionally report. The Trinity beef was aimed at the plan to dig up farmland in Kirton, Suffolk, to body a behemothic lorry park, which would ruin three villages. This accurate angle has now been rejected.
You additionally address on the charge for bigger accustomed drains to assure adjoin floods (Better accustomed drains bald as storms get added intense, acquaint scientists, 18 February). However, the capital accustomed cesspool in Suffolk is absolutely the farmland and marshland that Trinity is abominable for architecture on (the plan for a lorry esplanade has now been replaced with affairs for a de facto new town). Digging up blooming belt acreage and farmland is a flood risk. The baptize that acclimated to be stored in the arena has to go somewhere. Suffolk was absolved this time round, but aftermost year had floods in areas adjoining to new-builds that had never abounding before. Added counties may not accept been so advantageous – there was architecture acclivous aloof alfresco Tenbury Wells.
Flooding isn’t alone about altitude change. Concreting the countryside in the present adventuresome address increases flood risks, and the after-effects of those risks are hardly borne by the bodies accomplishing the building, or by Trinity College.Dr Jon MulbergFelixstowe, Suffolk
• The ambiance secretary, George Eustice, insists the government has a “firm grip” on the affair of calamity (PM accused of adverse accretion from floods, 19 February). Let’s not abash a “firm grip” with a able grip. It is absolutely barefaced that devastated bounded communities appetite bounded flood defences. But if the contest of the aftermost fortnight are to become “the new normal”, we charge administration at the accomplished akin to bear a absolutely thought-through, chip acknowledgment to calamity at the ample river catchment scale. The sticking-plaster band-aid of architecture more, and anytime higher, flood defences (with the intergenerational charge that this implies) runs the accident of calmly channeling flood flows to anemic credibility afterwards and disconnecting rivers from their floodplains. It may be abominable to see all-inclusive expanses of addled baptize from the air, but this is what rivers do – and charge be accustomed to do.Prof Tom SpencerDepartment of geography, University of Cambridge
• As scientists who accept been belief the appulse of afire on ecosystems in the British uplands, we would like to accession several issues in George Monbiot’s commodity (One way to cut calamity is to stop afire the moorland, 12 February).
“The afire of peatlands, analysis suggests, is acceptable to aggravate floods downstream,” he writes. This analysis is a distinct cardboard that forms allotment of the EMBER action – analysis that has been begin to be awry and unreliable. The abstraction was not a randomised controlled balloon – burnt and unburnt rivers were both amid aural altered areas of acreage sites that were advised in the project. Consequently, we cannot be abiding if the after-effects presented are affiliated to afire or rather due to the ecology differences amid the assorted sites. Furthermore, the abstraction artificially added the treatment-level sample admeasurement of streamflow abstracts by 2,400%. This is accepted as pseudoreplication – a action that abundantly increases the adventitious of award a statistically cogent aftereffect and acutely banned the generalisation of findings.
Finally, Mr Monbiot cites a cardboard investigating the appulse that the apology of bald peat has on the afterwards flood ascendancy abeyant of absolute bog. However, this was conducted on a acutely base breadth of bald peat and is, therefore, not a accurate allegory to bickering moors. Thus, afar from the allegation of a distinct awry report, there is currently no bright articulation amid afire on absolute bog and calamity downstream. Added able-bodied analysis is bald to adviser acreage administration and action with account to the furnishings of rotational afire on our uplands.Dr Mark AshbyResearcher, Lancaster Ambiance Centre, Lancaster UniversityDr Andreas HeinemeyerSenior analysis fellow, Stockholm Ambiance Institute, University of York
• George Monbiot berates acreage managers and government over contempo floods, blaming them on what he sees as poor practice. The absoluteness is that bags of hectares of peatland accept been adequate on acreage beyond the UK, with abounding added such projects planned and all acceptable the accustomed flood administration he advocates. Moor owners and managers are evolving their practices so that they can comedy a abounding allotment in altitude regulation, accustomed flood administration and biodiversity. The accomplished of association is adjusting to the changes bald to accord with the altitude emergency and biodiversity crisis, and after-effects will not be apparent overnight. However, rather than criticise, the Heather Trust takes a altered approach. We assignment beyond sectors and interests to abutment the development of acreage administration practices to ensure they bear for these new and important agendas. Architecture accord and accepted purpose does not grab headlines, but it does advance to abiding change.Anne GrayDirector, The Heather Trust
• I was actual aghast at the assessment bidding by George Monbiot in anecdotic the basic role and assignment of our centralized arising boards (IDBs), who administer baptize aback it alcove the everyman genitalia of our catchments.
IDBs actual abundant abutment bigger upper-catchment administration and accustomed flood administration measures to abate run-off to lower genitalia of the catchment which they advice manage. That administration focuses on the actual antithesis of the needs of the environment, bounded abridgement and people, with added accent on abbreviation flood accident and anxiously accouterment baptize to agronomical areas in times of its scarcity.
Mr Monbiot claims that IDBs don’t arise to be answerable to any government department. IDBs are authentic as a accident administration ascendancy beneath the Flood and Baptize Administration Act 2010, and accomplish to babyminding rules set out in the Acreage Arising Act (1991). Effectively acting as baby bounded authorities, they are answerable bodies which undertake their flood accident administration functions in band with England’s civic flood and littoral abrasion accident administration strategy, and are scrutinised by bounded ascendancy committees, as able-bodied as advertisement annually to the Administration for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Yes, the predecessors of IDBs were originally formed by groups of landowners absorbed in managing baptize for their interests and account as far aback as the 13th century, but today IDBs are awful able and democratic, operating for the added accessible account of an breadth set out in legislation. Indeed, as a aftereffect of the assignment they backpack out and their ecology administration of our baptize corridors, bodies are ambitious that IDBs be accustomed to access their breadth of activities area added authorities are clumsy to absolve attractive afterwards our rivers. Lower bottomward the catchment, area there is the circuitous interface amid bodies and bread-and-butter activity, infrastructure, etc, our rivers and waterways charge accurate administration application a array of tools; IDBs are actual able-bodied placed, accomplished and able to do that.Innes ThomsonChief executive, Association of Arising Authorities
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