Past pictures show why Worthing residents have rallied to tackle flooding

Tarring has a history of flooding and the Tarring Conservation Area in Worthing is a recognised flood risk area. The sight of rubbish bins floating down the High Street in June 2016 was the last straw for residents and they began rallying to do something about it.

Tarring Flood Action Group was formed and it has been active since in motivating people to do all they can to help themselves, including adopting a drain and clearing litter. Some of the them still remember the Great Flood of 1968, when low pressure brought exceptionally heavy rain and thunderstorms to south east England and the Worthing Herald photographed a man in Tarring High Street measuring the depth of the water.

Over the years, it has often been the summer flash flooding that has been the problem. In August 2018, for example, the emergency services received a high number of calls as heavy rain hit Worthing, flooding roads and leading to potentially dangerous driving conditions. There was severe flooding in Rectory Road during the peak of the rainfall.

One solution the action group has been working on is the Rectory Road Raingardens, which were completed in December 2020. This was identified as the most cost-effective solution to reducing flood risk. A small team of volunteers keeps the gardens in fine trim but more offers of help will be warmly received.

In March last year, there was a special addition to the Raingardens, a tree planted for the Queen’s Green Canopy as part of the Platinum Jubilee. Tarring Flood Action Group was joined by West Sussex Deputy Lieutenant Margaret Bamford, who was invited to plant the first tree on the green at the top of Tarring High Street.

Related topics: