Norfolk landlords and homeowners are being urged to help prevent floods this autumn.
With bird nesting season over, those who live or own properties in the county are being asked to take small, simple steps to ensure water can drain away from homes.
The Norfolk Strategic Flooding Alliance (NSFA) says tasks as simple as keeping drains, ditches and watercourses clear and able to flow freely can be of huge benefit.
Henry Cator, chair of the group, said: “The first line of defence against flooding is to stop it before it happens.
“Keeping all of our waterways clear, right down to the smallest ditch, has a huge impact on floodwater’s ability to drain away quickly.
“It may not seem like much, but keeping your own watercourses clear can protect your property and that of your neighbours, for just an afternoon’s effort with shears and a spade.
“When clearing a watercourse, ask yourself: could a fish swim through the ditch or waterway?
“If the answer is no, it needs clearing.”
Landlords and residents are being asked to check drains for any blockages such as mud, leaves and stones.
Outside the home, if they spot any blocked or broken drains on Norfolk’s highways, they can report it via www.norfolk.gov.uk/flooding, allowing Norfolk’s Highways Team to clear them and keep roads open.
Cllr Eric Vardy, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Everyone knows what can happen when drains are blocked, and our teams work closely with Anglian Water to keep the water flowing, but it’s easy to forget that ditches and waterways work in exactly the same way.
“Blockages lead to floods, and when it’s in a watercourse on your land, it’s up to you to keep the water flowing.
“It’s simple and straightforward, and not just about legal responsibilities: it’s about protecting yourself, protecting your home and protecting your community.”
In an emergency, residents across Norfolk can report flooding by calling 0344 800 8013. If you are in immediate danger, dial 999 immediately.