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Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, an ancient Sherwood Forest Village recorded in Domesday



Woodborough Flooding - The Co-op site



The following report on the Woodborough Dyke was prepared as part of an objection [August 2004] to a planning application to demolish the former Co-op shop to make way for a small development of new housing.

Woodborough lies in a three-sided valley in a peaceful and tranquil setting with the Woodborough dyke flowing from west side of the village and meanders along the Main Street until it is joined by the Sycke Dyke at a T-junction under the Main Street. The Woodborough dyke continues to flow through an underground culvert to open countryside at Lowdham Lane where it eventually joins the Dover Beck at Epperstone.

After excessive winter and spring prolonged rainfall the dyke’s culverts are incapable of coping with the volume of water which flows from the springs and field drains in the hills to the south and west of the village.

Left: The Co-op building was in use as a shop, the photograph was taken at the time when the Main Street dyke was in flood. Right: Someone clearing debris from the flooding dyke. Both photographs were taken in 1976. The water flows towards to Main Street

The problem lies with the volume of flood water, which flows downstream under the Main Street and backs up and has been the cause of re-occurring flooding during the past 30 years. The Woodborough dyke has flooded on numerous occasions alongside the Co-op site. Serious flooding took place in 1976, 1986, 1994, 1999 and 2002 [* and again in 2007] when the dyke rose by 6 ft and the Main Street had 18 inches of water. [Photographic evidence going back over some 100 years confirms that flooding has also taken place in other years in addition to the dates above].

Black arrow 'A' shows the directional flow of the dyke, which is west to east. . .

Blue arrows 'B and C' point to the Main Street dyke as it flows around the church towards the Co-op building,

Red arrow 'D' points to the Co-op building.

Map Pathfinder 813 courtesy of the O.S.

Note: The dyke as it flows towards Main Street is on the west side of the Co-op, it then turns sharp right into a culvert.


The land at the rear of the Co-op acts as a soak-away and affords protection against flood damage to Church Walk cottages. Any development to these open gardens would contribute to higher water levels in the dyke. If this land was removed for inappropriate development the increased hard surface of the parking spaces and the increased intensification of overland flows as a result will potentially increase the occurrence of flooding particularly if vegetation cover is removed.

Developments to the open gardens at the rear of the Co-op would contribute to higher water levels in the dyke, and there conflicts with Gedling Borough Council LP Env. 38 which cites "Risk of flooding, discharge of additional surface water, increased impermeable land" as the reason for rejecting an application. Development would not be permitted if “it would increase the risk of flooding through the increased discharge of water” or if “it would be at risk itself of flooding”. When the dyke floods across the rear of the Co-op property the flood water enters the property from the rear and flows through the shop. The Co-op manager has been called out twice in the early hours by the Police to open the front doors to let the flood water out.

The force of flood water is strong enough to carry tree branches, top soil and debris from the upstream dyke, which forms deposits on the culvert grille. As debris builds up a concentrated depth of silt reduces the aperture to half the original capacity. Woodborough dyke floods at the side and rear of the Co-op site, at this point the proposed new development would be flooded.


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