Climate change is affecting our local weather, with heavier and more severe rain. Several areas of the parish are suffering increased surface water problems. These articles first appeared on the front page of this website but are of ongoing interest.
The surface-water drains in the village centre have overflowed during heavy rain for a long time, but in recent years the more frequent heavy storms have highlighted the problem. In very heavy rain Station Road is like a river, and much of this water ends up flowing into the vulnerable sewage treatment works site.
Some residents have been making efforts to alleviate this problem by rodding out blocked drains and opening up old drains long hidden under tarmac near Bonnaford. The ditches behind Station Road cottages and the Coach House have also been cleared out by residents, to reduce flooding behind these properties.
The water course opposite Station Road cottages was edged with granite just a few years ago, but much of this is collapsing into the water and it seems that the historic drainage system is just not up to the job these days. Please send your views and suggestions to this website – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flooding from Gibbet Hill run-off may be resolved 2021-2
Gibbet Hill lies in Mary Tavy Parish but its water run-off affects residents in West Blackdown. Recent and more frequent storms, accompanied by heavy rain, have led to damaging water run-off.
Huge amounts of water have overrun and eroded the old drainage channels. The inability of the moor to absorb and hold the excess water has led to the flooding of property and land.
Residents in West Blackdown have been campaigning for over two years to get proper drainage management in place. They have contacted the Mary Tavy Commoners, Dartmoor Commoners, the owner of Gibbet Hill, Dartmoor National Park Authority and Devon County Council Highways, yet with little cooperation or commitment to help.
However recent further attempts to solve this problem have gained some traction from the DNPA Dartmoor Headwaters Project Officer, who recently met with residents from West Blackdown and others on the Mary Tavy side of Gibbet Hill. The flooding has finally been acknowledged as a serious matter and there is now hope that the Farming in Protected Landscape (FiPL) grant scheme will be able to fund a hydrological survey as a starting point to resolving the issues. This would provide baseline information from which to work, identify the current issues and make recommendations on how to remedy them.
In order to progress this there is need to obtain permission from all the landowners of Gibbet Hill, who will be contacted by the DNPA Headwaters Project Officer, and who will then inform the commoners out of courtesy. In principle, subject to landowner approval, there is no reason why this could not be progressed quite quickly, which is encouraging. There is also a need for any FiPL agreement to be rubber-stamped by both Mary Tavy and Brentor Parish Councils, but this should just be a formality.
As the project progresses this website will publish ongoing updates.