Soggy start to 2016 for Rother

Brede Valley,  4/1/16. SUS-160401-140441001
Brede Valley, 4/1/16. SUS-160401-140441001

The New Year got off to a soggy start, with heavy rainfall causing problems across the rural Rother area.

Flooding closed a large section of the A21 on Tuesday morning (January 3) for around six hours.

Traffic was diverted after Highways England made the decision to close the road in both directions between the A2100 at John’s Cross and the A28 at Westfield.

Meanwhile East Sussex County Council has asked its contractors to examine the drainage systems on the new £120m Link Road after floodwater encroached onto the carriageway.

The Environment Agency issued flood alerts for the Combe Haven, Powdermill and Watermill Streams, the River Tillingham and Brede area, and the River Rother.

The Agency deployed ‘demountable’ flood defences in Robertsbridge as a precautionary measure.

Robertsbridge recreation ground. SUS-160501-141124001

Robertsbridge recreation ground. SUS-160501-141124001

The Clappers was flooded once again, with water levels creeping up to the pavilion.

Flooded fields were a common sight around Rother, with affected areas including Bodiam and Brede Valley.

Meanwhile National Trust staff at Bateman’s in Burwash took part in a major clear-up operation following flooding in the gardens at the popular tourist attraction.

The wild garden and mill at the former home of Rudyard Kipling was forced to close temporarily after the River Dudwell burst its banks on Sunday (January 3).

Meanwhile Westfield Football Club had to call off its game against Ferring on Saturday (January 2) due to a waterlogged pitch.

The club has said it is the first home game it has been forced to call off since Boxing Day 2013.

The likes of Battle Baptists, Catsfield, Crowhurst, Mountfield United, Robertsbridge United and Sedlescombe Rangers are due to play their first football matches since Christmas on Saturday (January 9).

But due to the saturated pitches, the teams may find themselves enjoying an extended festive break.

Rye Rugby Club is due to return to action on Saturday.

It is thought the club’s fixture will go ahead as planned, unless there is further heavy rainfall.

* For more about how the weather has affected sporting fixtures in the area, please see the inside back page.