Invasive species are being removed, stone bank edges repaired, the bed of the stream levelled, and trees and bushes trimmed by hand. The aim is to enhance the stream’s capacity to carry water, while maintaining its appeal as a popular feature of Minehead’s second-biggest park.
Cllr John Osman, Chairman of Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA), said: “About a third of the properties in Minehead and nearly all of the town’s businesses are at high risk of surface water flooding and we know that in the past problems have occurred because of under-capacity in channels and structures being blocked.
“So I’m pleased that Somerset Rivers Authority is funding this extra work on the Bratton Stream. It will help to make people and businesses in Minehead safer.”
Most of Minehead lies within the floodplain of the Bratton Stream and its tributaries. This remedial project is being delivered for the SRA by the Environment Agency, with Quantock & Exmoor Tree Care duo Martin Cook, who lives near Raleigh’s Cross, and Rob Bruce, who lives in Carhampton, sub-contracting for Ground Control.
Bratton Stream is part of a package of SRA-funded works, all additional to activities carried out by other bodies such as the Environment Agency and West Somerset Council. Extra work is also going to be done soon to clear a heavily-overgrown channel near the A39 in Carhampton, on land owned by the Crown Estate, from Chris’s Crackers junk shop down towards the back of the village recreation field.
Previous SRA-funded West Somerset Streams work has been done on Horner Water, Doniford Stream, Traphole Stream and Washford River to reduce flood risk in Horner and West Luccombe near Porlock, Roadwater, Williton and Washford.