A FLOODED homeowner has hit out at the 'negligence' of wildlife and government agencies after Storm Henk.

Robert Dowling, hay warden for the Lugg Meadow, has been campaigning for a program of selective dredging and ditch clearance along the river Lugg after his house in Lugwardine was flooded and sees the effects of last week’s flooding as a clear example of why such measures are necessary.

He says that he has repeatedly called for the removal of fallen trees, branches and overgrowth to help prevent further flooding but has been disappointed with what he views as a lack of action on the part of organisations such as the Environment Agency and the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.


He claims that flooding in the meadow has increased in severity in recent years, becoming more prolonged and damaging the overall soil structure.

Hereford Times: Mr Dowling's home has been affected by the most recent bout of flooding.Mr Dowling's home has been affected by the most recent bout of flooding. (Image: Joshua Dyer)

The flooding has also affected his property over the last week, he said, with waters rising to a depth of 18 inches in his home and damaging his furniture, carpets, electrical appliances, boiler and other belongings.

“This is purely due to the negligence of these government organisations,” said Mr Dowling.

“They’re just a waste of space, they damage the environment.

“The Environment Agency hasn’t got the money because the government cut their funding in 2012 which was when they said ‘Right, we’re no longer looking after the riverbank.’”

“Natural England put a block on anything being done, if the Wildlife Trust wants to do something to the river then they’ve got to get permission from Natural England who just sit in their office saying ‘oh no, it’s a site of special scientific interest’.

“They crack on about the curlews, my house is more important than any curlew.

“We had lovely curlews here, lots and lots of curlews when there was haymaking on time and those idiots at the Wildlife Trust weren’t sticking their ignorant oars in.

“They think they know a lot about nature, they know nothing. They don’t know as much as the local farmers.

“This chap John Price up in Kingsland was in trouble and went to prison for clearing the riverbank, but the flooding in Kingsland didn’t go into the houses this year.

“It stopped at their front doors and didn’t go into the houses; I rest my case.”

The Environment Agency was approached for comment but has not yet replied.