West Pinchbeck villager condemns ‘vandalism’ of River Glen

RIVER WORK: A dog walker has complained about The Environment Agency clearing grass, shrubs and lowering trees along the River Glen in West Pinchbeck. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG291117-118TW.

A West Pinchbeck dog walker has attacked work carried out to remove grass, shrubs and trees along a stretch of the River Glen in the village.

Retired businessman David Mitchell (75) accused the Environment Agency of “environmental vandalism” after cutting down trees and clearing an area of riverbank off Glenside North near St Bartholomew’s Church.

I can’t understand why the Environment Agency has taken everything away and how it’s concerned with flood defence

David Mitchell, of West Pinchbeck

A spokesman for the Environment Agency confirmed that the work was done earlier this month “in order to maintain the integrity of the flood defence in preparation for the winter”.

Mr Mitchell said: “I walk my dog along the riverbank most mornings but I hadn’t been along that way for a few days.

“But a week or two ago, I saw this enormous bit of machinery working away in the distance and the riverbank had been completely cleared of most of the grass, all of the shrubs and some of the really large trees had been cut away.

“Everyone who has seen this has been as equally outraged as I am and we all see it as a form of environmental vandalism.

“I can’t understand why the Environment Agency has taken everything away and how it’s concerned with flood defence as the part of the riverbank where I walk my dog is on a raised bank which forms its own flood defence?”

The work along the River Glen in West Pinchbeck was done as part of a £2.3billion Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Investment Programme covering more than 1,500 projects and over 300,000 households across England by March 2021. The Environment Agency spokesman said: “Our officials worked on this stretch of the River Glen for a number of days earlier this month in order to maintain the integrity of the flood defence in preparation for the winter.

“We have received no concerns regarding this work and local landowners were informed prior to the start.

“Other work in terms of the replanting of trees away from the flood defence is scheduled before the New Year.

“However, we take all complaints and queries from members of the public very seriously and we can be contacted on 03708 506506.“

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