River erosion

PUBLISHED: 10:22 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010

SIR, — The bend in the River Ver at the western end of the Cottonmill allotments in St Albans was put there by the Duke of Marlborough when he did a water feature at the bottom of Holywell Hill and altered the course of the river. The right-angled bend ha

SIR, - The bend in the River Ver at the western end of the Cottonmill allotments in St Albans was put there by the Duke of Marlborough when he did a water feature at the bottom of Holywell Hill and altered the course of the river.

The right-angled bend has been eroding ever since then. Before the allotments were made there was a water course around the site to the south alongside the Prospect Road gardens which cut across the east end of the site about 10 metres from the lane and exited by the river bridge before the lane was altered. There was also a small water course across the middle of the site as seen on the map of 1897.

Those water courses were stopped up at some time and ever since then the river has been eroding the bank at that point. The water does not come over the bank but through the bank when the water in the river gets about a foot higher than the normal flow.

This has meant that all the hard work done by plot holders in that corner has been in vain due to lack of maintenance by the authority responsible for the bank. In this age when allotments are so sought after and needed for healthy food production, it is criminal to allow this to happen. The authorities did do a patch-up job a few years ago with willow bundles but due to the lateness of the job and a dry time, most of the willow died. Any work that I did before that, which had slowed the leak, was removed.

This is a flood plain and we accept a flood over the bank but we do not accept seepage through the badly-maintained bank.

MR C.J. BODEN,

Thirlmere Drive, St Albans.

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