‘Woodland helps protect our homes’

Flooding at the West Beach estate in January
Flooding at the West Beach estate in January

THE flood-blighted residents of the West Beach estate in Lancing are calling the protection of nearby woodland as they believe it helps protect their homes from flooding.

In an email to West Sussex County Council, Geoff Patmore of West Beach Residents Association described the ‘obvious flood prevention advantages associated with the extensive five-acre woodland habitat’ at Old Salts Farm.

He wrote: “The habitat acts as an essential flood prevention device, due to the soak-up potential of trees and shrubs absorbing groundwater and surface water.”

He has appealed to local authorities to confirm that protecting woodland and shrubs at Old Salts Farm would serve as an additional flood-defence mechanism, and to agree they should not be destroyed.

“We at West Beach consider the non-preservation and possible future destruction of the five-acre woods will create more water flow onto West Beach estate,” he wrote.

Wendy Dowse of West Way said there were other reasons for protecting the woodland.

“The woods and scrub behind the west end of West Way are full of birds and some people even claim they have seen dormice there,” she wrote.

“These are protected animals and destroying their habitat is illegal.

“The trees are terrific and I only wish that Sussex Wildlife Trust or some other organisation would take over their management so that the whole area could be properly enjoyed.”