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Rivers: Dredging

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what dredging has taken place of the River Avon between Tewkesbury and Eckington in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (253561)

The Environment Agency has not carried out dredging on the River Avon between Tewkesbury and Eckington in the last five years. The Environment Agency routinely considers dredging and vegetation management in watercourses to reduce flood risk. The Environment Agency prioritises this according to risk and carries out such work where it is technically sound, economically viable, environmentally acceptable and sustainable.

On a larger river like the River Avon, the erosion, transportation and deposition of material within the river channel is a natural process. Dredging the river has historically been carried out in localised areas by the Lower Avon Navigation Trust to allow boats to travel safely along the river.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what dredging of the River Severn between Gloucester and Tewkesbury has taken place over the last five years; what the Environment Agency’s policy is on the dredging of rivers; and if he will make a statement. (253558)

The Environment Agency has not carried out dredging on the River Severn between Gloucester and Tewkesbury in the last five years. The Environment Agency routinely considers dredging and vegetation management in watercourses to reduce flood risk. The Environment Agency prioritises this according to risk and carries out such work where it is technically sound, economically viable, environmentally acceptable and sustainable.

On a larger river like the River Severn, the erosion, transportation and deposition of material within the river channel is a natural process. Dredging the river has historically been carried out in localised areas by British Waterways to allow boats to travel safely along the river.