FRIENDS of the Corve and Teme are a group of local residents who came together to focus on flooding issues in and around Ludlow.

Affiliated to and supported by The National Flood Forum, FCT works in partnership with organisations such as the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, Shropshire Council Highways, Flood and Water Management, Teme Weirs Trust, Severn Rivers Trust and Shropshire Wildlife Trust, to reduce the risks of flooding and alleviate the possible consequences.

"Flooding may result from run-off, rivers or drains," said Rosemary Wood, chairman of FCT. "We have to start by understanding how and where it occurs. FCT is undertaking a 'mapping' exercise, to identify properties which have been flooded or may be at risk in the future. Our feeling is that the real experts are local residents. They know where the water went, how long it affected them and how it impacted upon them as individuals. If the relevant authorities are to put in place any resilient strategies to alleviate the consequences of flooding, they need to know which areas and properties are vulnerable. Data from the mapping exercise will be collated and passed to our partners, to enable them to target resources in the most relevant areas. To do this we need local knowledge, and we will shortly be contacting home-owners and businesses which have been affected or feel at risk."

Mapping properties enables us to create a 'virtual' picture of what could happen in the future.

But by working with natural processes to reduce the downstream maximum water height of a flood, we can increase the time available to prepare for its consequences, for example, putting a flood gate in place quickly enough will stop water entering a property.

'Slow the Flow' is a project funded by three of our partners; Shropshire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and Shropshire Council, and they are holding a meeting at Diddlebury Village Hall from 7.30pm - 9.30pm on Thursday, February 15.

Entitled "Natural flood management means working with nature to reduce flooding", Luke Neal, river projects officer with Shropshire Wildlife Trust, will outline the progress of 'Slow the Flow in Corve Dale', whilst a representative of the Environment Agency will provide an update on 'farming rules for water'.

The consequences of flooding affect us all nationally: £45 million is lost annually in the cost of soil erosion, including £9 million in lost production. Everyone is welcome at this talk."

Please email if you wish to become a 'Friend' of the Corve and Teme, phone 01584 875438 or visit the FCT website, for information on issues ranging from planning applications to free surveys for properties at risk from flooding.