Parks flood as rivers hit highest level in years

Large arts of Whitewebbs Park Golf Course were underwater on 14th January, and again on the 28th
Large parts of Whitewebbs Park Golf Course were underwater on 14th January, and again on the 28th

Several rivers top their banks after weeks of rain, reports James Cracknell

Rivers and streams in Enfield recorded their highest water levels in many years following a long period of heavy rain.

Salmons Brook, Cuffley Brook and Turkey Brook topped their banks on 14th January – and then again two weeks later on 28th January – flooding green spaces including Cheyne Walk Open Space, Whitewebbs Park and Forty Hall Estate.

Enfield, Whitewebbs, and Bush Hill Park golf courses were also covered in floodwater. Although some back gardens and allotments were submerged, there were no reports of flooded properties.

For Turkey Brook, water levels were higher than they had been for seven years, while Salmons Brook recorded its highest level since February 2009.

Salmons Brook has a history of flooding but was subject to a major flood alleviation scheme in 2016, when the Environment Agency spent £15.3million on a series of interventions, including new embankments at Cheyne Walk Open Space.

A council spokesperson said: “Several weeks of heavy and above average rainfall has led to many of Enfield’s rivers reaching their highest levels for almost ten years.

“No properties were flooded during this time, which is a measure of the success of the many flood protection measures delivered by the council and Environment Agency in recent years, including the Salmons Brook Flood Alleviation Scheme.

“Floodplains in several parks, including Cheyne Walk Open Space, were submerged, but these important natural flood storage features help store water away from properties before releasing the water slowly as river levels subside.”