Chaos theory, a phenomenon well known to physicists and climatologists, coupled to climate change could be the reason for meteorologists being astounded by unprecedented changes to the UK weather pattern in 2020. Those of us that grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s experienced regular seasonal patterns, snow and ice in winter, wet springs and long hot summers. However since the late 70’s global temperatures have been steadily rising with changes in the southern hemisphere triggering changes to the global weather patterns. Locally 2020 has seen new records set for the wettest February (over twice monthly average) following a mild winter, the warmest spring and the driest May (only 12% of monthly average). No rain was recorded from 3rd May to 4th June. Since then June has continued with endless showers although only two days the 7th and 18th recorded over 10mm. The remainder of June is expected to see warmer weather returning with the years total rainfall so far expected to be below the usual average to the end of June.
Having recently been contacted by a potential house purchaser enquiring about flooding risks in Nether Heyford reminded me of the role of a flood warden, his deputy and any other wardens located within the Village, all of whom should be registered and insured by the Environment Agency. They are expected to raise awareness of flood risks, help pass on flood warnings and help prepare for flooding events throughout the Village. Acquired local knowledge will often identify potential events before the E/A flood warning service. During flooding events they would coordinate all emergency services, bearing in mind that all agencies will be attending higher priority events elsewhere. An important activity is regular inspection of ditches,culverts, brooks and river and recording the extent of all potential flooding events. A Community Flood Plan should be prepared identifying all areas at risk, each given a rating and action to be taken. A full listing of all contact numbers for wardens and emergency services should be included. It would be helpful to have such a document posted on the Village web site and a reference included in the Welcome pack.