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Boumphrey Lecture: The Environment Agency

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05 February 2019

We welcomed Anthony Measures from the Environment Agency to talk to Prep pupils from Years 5-6 about flooding and flood defences.  Anthony is the latest speaker to talk in our Boumprey Lecture Series in Prep.

Anthony Measures from the Environment Agency visited the School yesterday to give the next instalment of the Boumphrey Lecture Series. His talk was entitled “Helping you get Flood Ready” and our Years 5 and 6 pupils learned of the role played by the Environment Agency with a particular focus on flood prevention. Mr Measures also spoke of the Agency’s role in emergencies as a category 1 responder and the children discovered that an average family car can be moved by just 30cm of water and a person can be knocked off their feet by just 15cm of water. There were some fascinating examples of flood prevention schemes and we also learned of the interesting project by the Agency to reintroduce beavers to the River Otter in Devon as their dam building can actually help to prevent flooding. Thank you to Gabriel for the article he has written following Mr Measure’s talk and a big thank you to all the children in Years 5 and 6 for listening so well and for asking such interesting questions.

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Anthony Measures addressing the audience of Years 5-6 in Prep Hall

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Anthony Measures with Mr FitzHerbert, Head of Prep, and Gabriel and Tabitha


The Environment Agency by Gabriel, Head Boy in Prep, Year 6.

The Environment Agency's purpose is "to protect or enhance the environment, taken as a whole”.   They give advice on where development is safe from flooding and have the power to manage flood risk from the main rivers and the sea. 
 
The Environment Agency's work covers almost the whole of England, about 22,000 miles (35,000 km) of river and 3,100 miles (5,000 km) of coastline seawards to the three-mile limit which includes 2 million hectares of coastal waters. 
 
The Environment Agency is responsible for increasing public awareness of flood risk and to forecast and warn about possible flooding.  

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As you can see, our school is not in danger. They also advise on coastal erosion and take steps to prevent this where possible.  The Environment Agency is the Conservancy Authority for the Dee Estuary. At Caldy on the Wirral large rocks have been placed along the shoreline to help protect the land against the sea. It is often not possible to prevent all forms of flooding in all locations, and so the Environment Agency advises on strategies to plan for areas where flooding will occur and how to manage this.

They operate and maintain an estimated £20 billion worth of flood risk management installations in areas where there remains a high risk of flooding and where the damage risk is the highest. The Thames Barrier was completed long before the EA was created but more recent examples of major defences against coastal flooding. 

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The Agency also runs public awareness campaigns to inform those at risk who may be unaware that they live in an area that is prone to flooding, as well as providing information about what the flood warning codes and symbols mean and how to respond in the event of a flood.  The agency operates Flood line, a 24-hour telephone helpline on flooding which helps people with advice of how to act before and after a flood has affected them.
 

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Prep Prefects having fun dressing up in some of the equipment from the Environment Agency.
 

For more information on the 'Beyond the Curriculum' programme that includes talks from high-profile authors such as Clare Balding, and our innovative Enrich & Explore and Future Skills Programmes in Prep click here.