Thursday, 7 January 2016

Flooding in the north east and farmer's role

The rain is easing off somewhat now but there continue to be some problems due to saturated ground, water remaining in large pools and localised flooding.
I have seen in the last few days  that there are roads in our town breaking up and disintegrating because the ground they are laid on is saturated and unstable. Long term lack of good maintenance has meant there are blockages in road drains (gullies) which mean rainwater forms deep pools on the roads. Water is gradually flooding off the Town Moor onto the roads and as the road drains are blocked in places, it is pooling. This can lead to accidents caused by vehicles aquaplaning and poor visibility.

I have read in the Evening Chronicle about what farmers could do to help. "Claire Bainbridge, senior rural surveyor at land and estate agents George F White’s base in Alnwick in Northumberland, said: “If farmers and estate owners knew that they could add real monetary value to their land by introducing flood management measures, it may well serve as an incentive to improve flood defences within the UK.

“North East farmers have the potential to offer a modern day arc that will protect people, properties and livestock from oncoming floods for many years to come. But they can only do this if Government commits the right level of funding and support in all areas, both urban and rural.

“A strategy as basic as planting more trees in upland areas can act as a buffer, slowing the downward flow of water which could have a significant impact on the likelihood of flooding occurring further downstream.

“Some floods can be caused by the saturation of upland soil. Rather than acting as a sponge, the wet soil accelerates the flow of water down to the towns and villages. By planting bog mosses in those upland areas, the ground may become more absorbent, reducing and slowing the volume of water that could potentially reach homes.”

It also looks like Skinnerburn Road near Forth Banks, Newcastle Quayside, is closed due to the wall about to collapse.
The pigeons who live in the lofts could be made homeless live in
Skinnerburn Pigeon Lofts  with their human companions

To give you an idea of some of the quantities of water we have been seeing coming off the Town Moor and other areas of higher ground, which flow down these small Burns and want to get into the Tyne, here is a video of the Ouseburn, a small watercourse flowing down by Jesmond and into the area known as Ouseburn and then into the Tyne.


I am reminded that Dogen had much to say about water.
Here his Mountains and Rivers Sutra is translated by Arnold Kotler and Kazuaki Tanahashi...

"All beings do not see mountains and waters in the same way. (16) Some beings see water as a jeweled ornament, but they do not regard jeweled ornaments as water. What in the human realm corresponds to their water? We only see their jeweled ornaments as water. Some beings see water as wondrous blossoms, but they do not use blossoms as water. Hungry ghosts see water as raging fire or pus and blood. Dragons see water as a palace or a pavilion. Some beings see water as the seven treasures or a wish-granting jewel. Some beings see water as a forest or a wall. Some see it as the Dharma nature of pure liberation, the true human body, or as the form of body and essence of mind. Human beings see water as water. Water is seen as dead or alive depending on causes and conditions. Thus the views of all beings are not the same. You should question this matter now. Are there many ways to see one thing, or is it a mistake to see many forms as one thing? You should pursue this beyond the limit of pursuit."
At the hour of the Rat, eighteenth day, tenth month, first year of Ninji {1240}, this was taught to the assembly at Kannondori Kosho Horin Monastery.

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