Residents of Chew Magna have won a top award for their work in developing a new Community Flood Plan.

The Environment Agency’s Project Excellence Awards recognise projects that have contributed to managing flood risk and building local resilience to flooding.

Chew Magna’s improved Community Flood Plan was developed in direct response to flooding in the area in 2012. The village was badly affected with many homes flooded on two separate occasions. As part of the plan, the local flood warden group was developed to assist members of the community during flooding.

With support from Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Environment Agency, a Property Level Resilience scheme was rolled out, enabling home owners to make their homes more resilient to future flooding. The local Flood Warden Group, residents, and Chew Magna Parish Council then took the initiative in developing a truly robust plan to enable the village to deal with the inherent flood risk.

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Strategic Director for Place, Louise Fradd, said: “This is fantastic news for the people of Chew Magna and I congratulate them on their win. This award shows how important it is for communities and individuals to be prepared to manage their flood risk.

“Flooding affected the village of Chew Magna badly in 2012 on two separate occasions and the residents and businesses have worked hard to ensure their flood plan is robust, well-rehearsed and well known. This is a great example of what can be accomplished when local people work together in order to deal with a real and present risk that affects the whole community.  From the Council’s point of view it’s great to know that there is such a robust plan in place. We think other communities could learn a great deal from Chew Magna.”

As part of the plan a number of test runs and community events are run throughout the year. These events include Flood Resilience Days, where homeowners put their individual plans in place, including installing Property Level Resilience measures and testing pumps.

The Community Flood Plan was put into action at the end of November last year, when the Winford Brook burst its banks and flooded parts of the village. As a direct result of the rapid initiation of the Flood Plan the village was able to quickly return to normal business as soon as flood levels dropped.