A LARGE group of villagers from Crudwell, near Malmesbury, whose lives were devastated by flooding 12 years ago, will be pulling on their wellies at the weekend in the hope of preventing another flood.

More than 30 houses in Crudwell were flooded in the torrential rains of July 2007 and many households had to be evacuated for longer than a year.

Although the authorities, particularly the Environment Agency (EA), were fairly sympathetic, there was no public money for flood prevention measures because of the “limited number of households affected”.

The EA did, however, offer advice on how the villagers might help themselves by clearing the overgrown brook that runs through the centre of the village, one of the main causes of the flooding.

The brook was cleared then, but now it is once again choked with weeds and roots and retired engineer John McWilliam is worried that flooding is again a possibility in heavy rain.

John published a plea in the parish newsletter and more than 40 people have volunteered their time, wellies and waterproofs for another flood prevention event this weekend.

Councillors, landowners and Wiltshire Council officers and engineers have also come forward to help.

“There has been a magnificent response to our distress call,” said John, “but we could still do with more willing hands to clear what is really a long stretch of very clogged-up waterway.”

The group will be working on the brook from 9am on both Saturday and Sunday, July 27 & 28, meeting in the field next to the A429 road bridge.

Anyone who would like to help should either turn up with waterproof gloves and hand tools or email John at johnmcwilliam@mac.com for details.