‘Deal with flooding so we can start projects’

Gadebridge Park flooding January 2013.
Gadebridge Park flooding January 2013.
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A voluntary group with visions of making Gadebridge Park a visitor attraction – with the possibility of bringing back a splash pool for little ones – wants the flooding problem to be dealt with before they start work on projects.

The Friends of Gadebridge Park fear the constant flooding could prevent schemes from going ahead.

And group secretary Steve Wilson disagrees with the Environment Agency’s insistence that the current state of the park is normal.

Water overflowing from the River Gade has swamped the park’s play area and sandbags are being used to protect the bowls club building.

Steve, a geography consultant and an environment enthusiast, said: “What is happening in Hemel is not perfectly normal. It has been created over a period of time.”

He believes a build up of weeds and silt is causing the river to over-spill more often. “Our view is until we have got proper management and control of the river it is very silly to pursue anything else,” said Steve.

The group wants to make the park a day out destination. Among the list of ideas is creating a splash pool using a natural spring and publishing guides to reveal the park’s history, including a Roman villa, first discovered in 1963.