After several weeks of sustained wet weather, with barely any dry days to speak of, it was perhaps inevitable that when heavy rains fell in our region the Derwent rose quickly and with devastating effect.
The floods of early November 2019 have set new river level records at Chatsworth House and Derby City measuring stations, whilst the flow rate at Derby City peaked at over 300m³ per SECOND!
Water levels and flow rates such as these have caused widespread damage to homes, businesses and property throughout our region. Sadly, there was also the tragic death of a woman who drowned in a raging flooded Derwent upstream of us at Rowsley.
Belper and Ambergate have not been immune to the destruction, and we have seen flooding to a greater extent in both places than has been seen for decades.
Our own Wyver Lane Pond became part of the Derwent for a few hours and our otter fence there (only erected in 2017) has sustained widespread damage. Committee members were quick to act, and as soon as water levels had receded sufficiently a small group set about re-erecting the fence and making it secure. Further work to fully repair the fence is still necessary and the club will be investigating this over the coming days. Incidentally, otter footprints were spotted in the silt around the pond less than 24 hours after the floodwater had flattened parts of the fence! This highliughts the need for the otter fence and the importance of anglers closing the gates behind them every time.
The Club has taken the decision to close Wyver Lane Pond to fishing until at least the end of November 2019. This decision has been made on safety grounds and the situation will be reassessed at the end of the month and a decision made on whether or not to reopen the pond.
Some of the pegs have been damaged and a large amount of silt was deposited on the path around the pond – six to eight inches in most places! It will be an ongoing task to clear this away and restore the path, so the club are requesting the help of any members who have a spare hour or two. Please visit the pond and clear a small section of the path. This work will all add up and, along with the work parties arranged for later in November, we should soon have the pond back to its best.
Committee member & bailiff Andy Bennett was out around Belper on Friday morning, November 8th, and shot the following pictures of the floods around our usual fishing areas…
Wyver Lane Pond (viewed from A6 – looking across the Derwent):
Belper River Gardens:
End of Derwent Street:
Behind Morrisons Superstore & B&M Bargains, Belper:
Sewerage Works Bridge:
The following video is some dramatic drone footage of Belper, shot on the morning of Nov 8th, showing the extent of the flooding from Strutts North Mill downstream:
The following video shows the sheer force of the Derwent flowing past Strutts North Mill, over Belper Weir and through the River Gardens: