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Climate Change

(July 1 – September 30, 2022)

Andrew Bodrov

Kunda hydroelectric plant

Robert Bilsland

Defending a Riverside Town

Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, England, UK

September 30, 2022, 9:44 UTC (10:44 local time)

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© 2022 Robert Bilsland, All Rights Reserved.


Upton-upon-Severn has always faced yearly flooding, sometimes being cut off from everyone else as water surrounds the town. To most, it was an accepted way of life and something you knew would happen if you lived there. But then the flooding stopped being a once a year event and places that were considered to be at risk once in a hundred years, found they weren't any more.

Decisions were made to keep the town connected to the rest of the county and to try to protect properties from flooding as best they could. For the road that runs through the town, the decision was made to raise its level as it crossed the floodplains. While this couldn't guarantee access for all flooding, it did at least make it harder to flood. For the back part of the town a series of earthen flood defences were built and a closable, road sized, flood gate was installed. But what could be done for the picturesque, river-sided, pubs and businesses?

Massive earthen flood defences were out of the question due to there only being enough room for a narrow road to separate the properties from the river. Also, anything too tall wouldn't be accepted, as who would want to visit a riverside where you couldn't see the river? A compromise was found in the design of a glass topped low wall with closable access gates.

I suppose the final question is, do all these flood defences work? Yes, I have visited in flood and stood on the inside of the wall with water lapping up the other side of the glass panels. It isn't as high as the earthen flood defences, but a compromise had to be found, and while the water doesn't breach the glass topped wall it's quite a tourist attraction in itself.

You can read more about the Upton Flood Alleviation Scheme and the Upton upon Severn flood risk management scheme and see pictures of the Upton upon Severn Flood Scheme.


Taken with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G fisheye lens. Mounted on a Nodal Ninja 5 panorama head and R-D16 rotator atop a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. Shots taken at 6 positions 60° apart, tilted 15° down, and another shot taken looking straight up. Raw files then processed in darktable v3.8.1 before being stitched together using PTGui 10.0.19 Pro and converted using Pano2VR 6.1.15 pro.

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