Malvern Hills District Council- Flooding and Land Drainage

If you have a problem with flooding, please contact the most appropriate organisation to deal with the issue.

We receive regular flood warning information from the Environment Agency so that we have a good picture of how floods may develop. Information about flood warnings and river levels can be found by calling the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or on the Environment Agency website.

What to do before, during and after a flood

A useful guide from the Environment Agency about what to do before, during and after a flood. (374 KB)

The Association of British Insurers has also published a guide to recovering from a major flood.

Public Health England offers the following general safety advice on how to clean up after a flood.

  • Make sure there is good ventilation if you are using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces
  • Do not use petrol or diesel generators indoors: the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill
  • If you come into contact with flood water then wash your hands regularly.
  • Do not let children play in flood water

More information on how to clean up safely after a flood is available on the Government’s website.

The National Flood Forum is a charity that offers advice and support to people affected by flooding. You can call them on 01299 403 055.


In the event of flooding, sandbags are available from:

  • Council Depot in Pendragon Close, Malvern WR14 1GR
  • Hill Community Centre, Upton
  • Car park of Tenbury Community Swimming Pool

These are limited to six filled sandbags for each household. A limited number of sandbags may be available. 

Sandbags are only partially effective for flood defence purposes provided that they are used in conjunction with a suitable impermeable membrane. They can only be relied upon as a temporary measure, so where there is a regular need for some form of flood defence, we suggest a more easily deployed barrier or another form of property protection. For more information contact the National Flood Forum for independent advice and information.

Rest centres and other forms of help may be organised by the Emergency Management Team as necessary.


It may not always be possible for communities to be reached immediately during an emergency such as flooding. The Government suggest that communities could use local resources and knowledge to help themselves during an emergency. Useful links:

Land Drainage and Flooding

Land Drainage Functions are carried out by South Worcestershire Land Drainage Partnership (SWLDP).

Section 25 Enforcements

Under Section 25 of the Act any landowner who has a watercourse passing through or abutting their land is deemed a riparian owner and has a legal duty to keep it clear and free from obstruction to flow. As Drainage Authority the SWLDP has permissive legal powers to undertake enforcement action where appropriate.

To report obstructed watercourses please contact the Land Drainage Inspector on 01684 862145.

Consenting structures within a watercourse

Under Section 23 of the Act any alterations to, or proposed new structures that may affect flow in a watercourse may require Land Drainage Consent before works commence. Those requiring consent are shown in the  ‘consentable structures’ document. (212 KB)

Consent is required to be sought for the features shown whether the proposed works are permanent or temporary.

To apply for consent or discuss any structures that may require consent contact Debbie Bowen on 01386 565377 or email .

Please note consent cannot be given retrospectively so this should be done before any works are started.

All works in, on, or near a watercourse should comply with the Environment Agency pollution control recommendations in  ‘PPG 5 – Works in or near a watercourse’ (125 KB) . A summary is available below and the full version can be found on the Environment Agency website.

The designation of flood defence structures

Under the Flood and water Management Act 2010 the SWLDP has powers to designate features. These are private structures that although are not designed as flood defence structures provide a flood defence function. Designation involves protecting them from alteration without prior consent. Further information can be found in the  Designation Factsheet. (38 KB)

For more information see:  Flooding Information and Advice. (281 KB)

Malvern Hills District Council Newsletter December 2020

IMPORTANT News Release from Public Health England and Worcestershire County Council

The following news release and poster has been emailed to all Parish and Town Council Clerks.

Public Health partners urge people not to touch sick or dead birds

Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and Worcestershire County Council public health colleagues are urging people, including members of voluntary wildlife organisations, not to touch sick or dead wild birds.

The call comes as PHE and the local authority work together after confirmed avian influenza A(H5N8) diagnosed in a number of swans in Evesham and following reports of a growing number of sick and dead swans around the Diglis area of Worcester.

With an increasing number of cases of the infection being seen across the country, on 11 November Defra declared the whole of England as an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading to poultry and captive birds. This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures and from 14 December all poultry and captive birds will need to be housed.

The A(H5N8) strain is highly pathogenic to other birds, however there have been no human cases of infection reported. While the risk to human health is considered very low, it is still vital that people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses, and infection control measures may be necessary if they do.

Dr James Chipwete, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control with PHE in the West Midlands, and lead consultant for flu, said: “During the last week there have been confirmed cases of avian influenza A(H5N8) in swans in Evesham, and we are receiving an increasing number of reports of sick and dead swans in the Diglis area of Worcester. We are awaiting results of investigations currently being undertaken by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

“We know that people are concerned for the welfare of the swans, especially ensuring they are fed in these colder months, however it is important that people avoid contact with these sick or dead birds. Even though no cases of human infection have been associated with this strain of avian flu, as a precaution, anyone who was not wearing appropriate PPE while in contact with the droppings or birds in an area where the infection has been confirmed, will require close monitoring and a course of antiviral medication for 10 days from last contact with infected birds.

“We have seen a number of avian flu cases in poultry and captive birds across the country – with confirmed cases of A(H5N8) in Herefordshire last month, and suspected cases now in Warwickshire. People must avoid touching potentially infected birds at all costs, and if you do see any sick or dead birds by waterways or on your private land, please leave them and call the Defra helpline on 03459 335577. In areas where the infection has been confirmed, anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings, while not wearing the correct PPE, should make sure any footwear is properly cleaned and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water. They should then notify Public Health England’s Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3560 to arrange for antiviral medication and active surveillance of their condition. If someone handled infected birds while wearing adequate PPE, they must still undergo active surveillance.”

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire, said: “We’re continuing to work Public Health England Midlands to monitor this outbreak of avian influenza. It’s really important that we do all we can to protect both humans and birds throughout this outbreak of avian influenza in wild birds and keep the case numbers as low as we can in Worcestershire. The bigger risk is to birds rather than people. The risk of transmission to people is low and there is guidance that all keepers must follow to help keep both themselves and their birds safe.”

Help accessing food and other support

We have included some links on our website to signpost anyone who may need help accessing food, medicines, financial advice or other types of support:

  • Hardship Support and Advice. A list of local and national organisations supporting anyone in need. This includes help with clothing, counselling, financial support, food, housing, other support and general information and advice.
  • Ready Steady Worcestershire provides information about food, activities and support available to families in Malvern Hills District during the school holidays.
  • Here2Help is for anyone who is vulnerable and needs help but does not have family, friends and neighbours to support them. Fill in the online form and someone will get back to you shortly.

Malvern Hills Good Neighbour Network provides details of local community support groups.

Festive Children’s Trails

Malvern Hills District Council has joined forces with Malvern, Upton, and Tenbury Town Councils to launch this year’s festive shop window dressing competition with a twist. New for 2020, the competition will include a fun children’s trail to encourage local shoppers onto the high streets, whilst following social distancing guidelines. Children are being asked to help Santa Claus find a series of letters hidden within the window displays which will reveal a Christmas word or phrase. Prizes are up for grabs for those who complete the challenge, different rules apply for the different trails.

The trails will launch on the following dates:

  • Upton: 3 to 19 December
  • Tenbury: 3 to 23 December
  • Malvern: 5 to 23 December

Visit for more information.