Farmer and MP hope for end to drain pain

Farmer Andrew Pemberton hopes the work will stop fields flooding in Fylde
Farmer Andrew Pemberton hopes the work will stop fields flooding in Fylde

Work to improve one of the main drainage routes for South Fylde has been hailed in the ongoing battle to stop farmers’ fields from flooding.

Andy Pemberton, of Pembertons Dairies, welcomed work to modernise vital flood defence equipment in Lytham.

The Environment Agency scheme to replace the old wooden pen stocks with modern metal barriers beneath the bridge at Preston Road is currently under way.

Mr Pemberton said: “It is something I have been asking for a while. It is probably five years too late, but if these new gates work as they are supposed to, it could help with clearing drainage down the channel.

“At the end of the day doing some work could make a significant difference. I just hope they have got things right.”

As part of the project, workers will also clear away silt which has been allowed to build up in the tunnels below the road, stopping water clearing from Main Drain into the Ribble Estuary.

It is hoped the work will help alleviate recent issues with flooding to agricultural land nearby.

Mr Pemberton contacted The Express last year, complaining of the issues affecting the Main Drain. In the past 12 months, farmers, Fylde Council, the Environment Agency and Fylde’s MP Mark Menzies have met to help improve the situation.

Mr Menzies added: “Since becoming an MP I have been pushing for the Environment Agency to take some positive action on issues with flooding in this area and I am happy to see this work going ahead.

“While I am under no illusions that this will solve all the problems which have been causing the flooding to fields, something which has cost local farmers thousands of pounds in lost crops, I hope it will have a noticeable impact on water levels.

“Following on from this, the Environment Agency is undertaking a wider East Lytham project and has assured me it will soon be publishing the measures it thinks need to be taken to help resolve these issues once and for all and protect land and homes in Fylde.”