Residents urged to ‘Leaf It Out’ and help reduce flooding

Gloucester County Council Press Release – 28 October 2021

Gloucestershire residents and community groups are being asked to ‘Leaf It Out’ this winter, in support of the county council’s efforts to reduce the risk of localised flooding.

The county council is today launching a new ‘Leaf It Out’ campaign, encouraging members of the public to help keep their local drains clear of fallen leaves during the autumn and winter months.

Across the county there are nearly 130,000 gullies and kerb weirs. These are being regularly inspected (frequency of inspection is dependent on their risk rating) and cleansed on a routine basis but at this time of year drains can become blocked quickly and repeatedly, so local people, local eyes and local action are invaluable. Community support will make a huge difference to ensure they’re working as well as possible when it rains heavily.

To help reduce the risk of flooding in their area, residents can clear the drain(s) directly outside their home, if accessible from the pavement. Ideally, do it on the day you put your garden waste bin out for collection, so you can put what you clear straight into it. For details on your local garden waste collection services, visit your local borough/district council website.

Keeping your garden or outdoor space clear is important too, as this will prevent the leaves and debris from making its way towards the drainage systems.

Please only clear a drain or gully if it’s safe to do so – stay safely on the pavement or verge and use a broom, long stick, fork or spade, or similar. Anyone who takes part must read and follow the full risk assessment, as safety is the top priority.

To help encourage community engagement and thank those acting against flooding, we’re asking people to share a before and after photo on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #LeafItOutGlos to highlight this fantastic community action.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flooding, said: “Over the coming weeks, there will be more and more leaves on the ground and there is a likelihood that drains could become plugged by leaves when there is heavy rain.

“During the autumn we very often find the cause of blocked drains is simply leaves lying on top of the grate which stops the water flowing down. If people could help by clearing leaves from drains it would ensure that they are working properly when it rains heavily and enable highways staff to prioritise the most urgent flooding issues.”

Find out more about the Leaf It Out campaign, visit: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/highways/roads/leaf-it-out

Sign up to our ‘Leaf It Out’ newsletter! You’ll be part of the ‘leaf it out community’ and receive information, tips, advice and campaign updates.

You can keep up to date with any road closures or highways issues by following GlosRoads on Twitter and Facebook, just search for the handle: @GlosRoads.

The Environment Agency offers a range of alerts and advice in advance of and during flooding.

Be prepared and know what to do in the event of a flood by familiarising yourself with our flood guide.