Claverton Pumping Station damaged by 'relentless' flooding

A 19th Century pumping station designed to tackle flooding has suffered structural damage caused by "relentless" rain, a volunteer says.

Claverton Pumping Station, in Somerset, is supposed to flood up to three times a year but has flooded 16 times since October, Julian Stirling said

The station pumps water from the River Avon to the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Mr Stirling said the situation was so bad the charity that runs it may have to start looking at costly remedies.

He added that on Friday a small flood worsened and grew to a metre high in the building.

The Grade I listed structure, which houses a waterwheel, was constructed in 1813 and can pump 50 gallons (227 litres) of water every two seconds from the River Avon up 48 foot into the Kennet and Avon canal.

Two open days were supposed to take place at the station in April but Mr Stirling said they may not go ahead.

He said he is "not convinced" it will be open for an event on 9 April but could be open for 13 April.

Mr Stirling said: "The building is designed to flood. It is a water wheel, there is always going to be a lot of water.

"But we are designed to flood one, two, three times a year. But we have now flooded 16 times since October so the wood is not getting time to dry out.

"If you have wood that is starting to rot and you get the force of a flood coming through, it is starting to rip out pieces of guarding and even rot through parts of the building that have been there for 200 years."

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