Extensive flooding took place in the Summer of 2007. An Environmental Agency investigation into the flooding concluded that: “an unusually wet May and June with rainfall up to 195% of the long term average combined with an exceptional level of rainfall on 19 and 20 July created unprecedented levels of flow in the Letcombe Brook and the wider land drainage system. Water levels and flows exceeded the capacity of watercourses, culverts and bridges, forcing flood water over and/or around the structures, into roads and residential areas. This caused widespread flooding across the catchment which was worsened by surface and foul water flooding in places.
River flows during the July flooding were approximately 4 times the normal flow. Increased channel maintenance would not have significantly reduced the level of flooding experienced because the extra volume in the channel only equates to a very small proportion of the volume of water in the flood plain. However, it is recognised that channel maintenance will assist in flood risk reduction for smaller flood events and we will continue to work with landowners to offer guidance and advice.” Floods Review July 2007, David McNight, Feb 2008.
After the floods of 2007 the LBP set up the Wantage and the Grove Flood groups and set about drawing up projects to alleviate future flooding. The Project was instrumental in identifying and designing projects, raising funds and implementing approved works. A number of projects formed a flood alleviation scheme for Wantage and Grove. These included empowering local people to protect their own properties, supervising and coordinating local volunteers in removing rubbish and obstructions, increasing the brook’s capacity by installing groynes, removing permanent obstructions such as bridges, removing silts and debris under bridges and in mill pools. A number of projects were completed at a cost of over £30,000.