MEMBERS of a town's flood action group said it was 'thrilled' work had finally started on a flooding hotspot.

The five-week project to clear out debris from the bottom of the River Greta in Keswick has got underway this week.

Concerns had been growing around the level of gravel building up on the bed of the river in Keswick following February's storms.

Over the years there have been countless campaigns centred on dredging the waterway because it has some sharp bends and debris can gather under the bridge.

Trying to keep the area as safe as possible is the priority of Keswick Flood Action Group, which formed after flooding in 2005.

It's initial mission was to try to apply pressure for increased flood defence measures in the area.

Over the years the town has been left without supermarkets and hundreds of home have been left ruined as a result of heavy downpours.

The group also help the community reduce the risk of further flooding in the future while campaigning to have more done to help safeguard the town.

The volunteer group is also dedicated to helping the people of the town when disaster strikes.

Just this week a crew from The Environment Agency started to remove the excess gravel.

Chairwoman of the flood group, Lynne Jones, said: “It’s going terrifically.

“After the two storms it was a no brainer they would have to do the work on the river.

“We’re thrilled to see them working and taking away what has been washed down stream.

“By clearing the gravel it adds another level of protection to the area. When it builds up under the bridge water flow is reduced.”

The work being undertaken will help keep the river flowing and will put the area in a better position for the winter months when a higher volume of water is expected.

Following a slight delay, as a result of coronavirus, the team have powered on with the work.

Hoping to complete the work in just over a month, a spokesman for the agency said: “The Environment Agency has started to remove gravel deposited in the River Greta following storms Ciara and Dennis in February to reduce flood risk to Keswick and surrounding communities.

“It is anticipated that 10,000 tons of gravel will need to be removed from Greta Bridge and Greta Grove.

“The works started this week and are due to take roughly five weeks to complete.”