More than 4,000 English flood defences ‘almost useless’

More than 4,000 of England’s vital flood defences are so damaged they are almost useless, including hundreds in areas battered by Storm Babet.

An analysis of Environment Agency data obtained by Unearthed, the investigative arm of Greenpeace UK, showed that 4,204 of England’s most important flood defences were in a poor or very poor condition in 2022. This accounts for about one in 15 of the total.

Across the country, 856 were judged very poor, meaning they had “severe defects resulting in complete performance failure”, essentially rendering them useless.

The remaining 3,348 were in poor condition, meaning they have defects that would “significantly reduce” their performance.