The devastating floods that have particularly affected the south west and south east of the UK, show no sign of ending. With 1.6 million properties across Britain now at risk of groundwater flooding, and forecasters predicting more bad weather possibly until May, the UK could be headed towards one of the biggest natural crisis in many years.
With many people’s homes flooded across the south of the country as we speak, it might seem slightly trivial to mention how serious the weather could affect the UK’s tourism trade. But as we approach the beginning of spring, businesses in Wales, Devon and parts of the south east could be in serious trouble.
The torrential rain that hit the UK in the summer of 2012, where a month’s rain fell in parts of the UK, causing huge damage to tourism in Wales, Devon and Cornwall. Many businesses, Motorhome for hire companies and Hotels suffered. The floods of the July 2012 also caused severe travel and transport distributions, along with closure of many schools and businesses.
With the current floods causing havoc and more storms forecast over the next two weeks, and no sign the jet stream is moving north to its normal position, large areas of Britain are at risk of further flooding. But what realistically can be done to help UK with a crisis, where the root cause of the problem is mother nature. The government has come under fire for its slow response to the flooding, and for PM David Cameron for failing to visit the flood-hit communities in Somerset, some of whom have been under water for a month. There even has been some criticism aimed at the environment agency, for a slow response.
One possible way of helping homes and businesses against the floods, is to use nature against nature and introduce beavers. Ecologist Derek Gow says the water-loving creature would gnaw through trees and build-dams, holding back the floods when rivers get swollen by heavy rain. Beavers were once native to Britain but were hunted for fur and disappeared in the late 16th century.
Derek Gow also commented “that natural dams built by beavers across the rivers can do the slowing-watering job effectively and at no cost. Man made dams need maintaining and that means a huge cost – every time you call a driver out, that costs another £350. Natural England has looked at the feasibility of re-introducing beavers and has concluded that its entirely practicable and desirable. Countries like Belgium and Germany have introduced beavers and the results are that they appear to help alleviate Flooding.”
Whether the UK does introduce beavers or not, clearly something needs to be done now and for the future, to help residents, homes, businesses (such as motorhomes for hire, hotels) and commuters from the UK’s soggy and wet climate.