Clitheroe Flood Action Group warden Chris Peel with FloodSax donated to the group Clitheroe Flood Action Group warden Chris Peel with FloodSax donated to the group

A flood action group is using pioneering alternative sandbags to protect dozens of homes and businesses in an area very vulnerable to flooding.

Clitheroe Flood Action Group in Lancashire was set up in June this year in response to years of problems with flooding in the area.

It appealed for help to save people from the misery of flooding and Richard Bailey, managing director of the company that devised and manufacturers FloodSax sandless sandbags (www.floodsax.co.uk), was quick to respond. The company has sold more than 2.5 million FloodSax worldwide.

Richard said: “I was born and brought up in Clitheroe and so was anxious to help an area I know and love so well. Many other flood action groups across the UK also have FloodSax so they are ready to respond to flooding 24/7.”

Chris Peel, volunteer team leader for Clitheroe Flood Action Group (FLAG), said: “We can’t thank Richard enough for his help. It means we can help many people in the area who are at a real risk of flooding. Many areas in the town have already flooded this year.

“We monitor flood risks very closely and if there is a flood alert our team of volunteers go round to check river levels and make sure people are all right, especially those classed as vulnerable. If there is a high risk of flooding with the water just about to reach a property then that’s the time we’ll deploy the FloodSax,

“We have people in Clitheroe who still have damage in their homes from the 2015 Boxing Day floods so we know just how devastating and miserable flooding can be.”

Councils have no legal responsibility to provide sandbags and Chris added: “Council sandbags are on a limited use basis and we’ve found that at the time we really need them they aren’t available. I can’t believe how light the FloodSax are to get to the scene and are so easy to manage with none of the residue and mess you get from sandbags. It gives both the flood action group members and the residents of Clitheroe peace of mind.”

Clitheroe has several problem flood areas including the River Hodder which runs through the town, the River Calder, Mearley Brook, Pimlico Brook where a number of homes back onto the stream.

Clitheroe FLAG has repeatedly called on the Environment Agency to build a higher wall protecting the Sewley area of the town from floodwaters coming from the River Calder.

Clitheroe FLAG is always on the lookout for new members. Anyone who wants to find out more should contact Chris on 07488 382630.

For more information on FloodSax go to www.floodsax.co.uk