New ‘lake’ at St Albans’ Westminster Lodge

The flooded area of Westminster lodge with the leisure centre in the background

The flooded area of Westminster lodge with the leisure centre in the background - Credit: Archant

Heavy rain has created another attraction at Westminster Lodge – a lagoon which is already being populated by Verulamium Park lake wildfowl.

The large lagoon has been created in the field opposite the leisure centre and running track and in the centre is a pumping station.

St Albans council’s head of community services, Richard Shwe, said: “We are aware that an area of land in Verulamium Park known as “the water meadows” has flooded.

“This area is known to have flooded in the past and forms part of the local flood plain.

“The flooded area includes a pumping station owned by Veolia Water and the company is aware of the situation.

“We have notified the organisation responsible for flood management, the Environment Agency, of this matter.”

Mr Shwe added: “We understand that the flooding has been caused partly due to the heavy rain we have been experiencing and also due to the flow of the river being restricted by fallen trees and branches.

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“We expect that in time the water will drain away naturally from the flooded area.”

n Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of a boat which the council bought around 10 years ago after heavy rain caused severe flooding across the district.

The then council leader, Cllr Robert Donald, recalled how, after water levels rose so high in areas like House Lane and Waterside in London Colney that residents had to be evacuated, that the council bought a boat to replace a previous one which had been holed.

Cllr Donald said that a garage had been commandeered to enable parish clerks to get to sandbags and tape for use in emergency flooding situations and he added: “We also bought a boat to replace one in London Colney which had been holed.”

St Albans council’s partnership and inclusion manager, Jane Pearce, said they were working very closely with the emergency services which had responsibility for rescuing people and animals stranded by flooding.

But she added: “We do not currently have any boats designated for the rescue of residents.

“The council’s grounds maintenance contractor, John O’Conner Ltd, has a small boat which is used occasionally by park rangers at Verulamium Park to remove litter and retrieve football and model boats from the lakes.”