A VEHICLE equipped with various flood defences visited a Carlisle community centre yesterday.

The Floodmobile was parked outside Botcherby Community Centre as part of a tour across flood hotspots in the UK.

It showcases 50 examples of property flood resilience (PFR) measures, demonstrating how people can adapt their homes or businesses to futureproof against the devastating effects of flooding.

The tour was organised by Flood Re, the levy and pool system established between the government and insurance companies to provide flood insurance coverage to homes at risk.

Flood campaigner Mary Dhonau was also present, giving expert advice about what people can do to protect their homes from flooding.

Mary said: "We’re very aware of COP26 and trying to reduce carbon emissions and net zero, but flooding is going to get worse no matter what happens.

"The Environment Agency say that winter rain is going to increase by a staggering 59 per cent by 2050.

"What we have to put to the top of the agenda is adaptation, enabling us to recover from a flood because flooding is going to get worse.

"When monsoon-like rain happens, there’s nowhere else for it to go but our homes."

Inside the Floodmobile are various kinds of defences from flood proof doors and flood barriers, to flood recoverable floors and units.

In 2015, Botcherby Community Centre was severely damaged by floods which struck the county.

Helen Fisher, the manager, said: "We were absolutely wiped out. There was water up to about four feet."

Thanks to campaigning by Mary Dhonau and grants, the community centre now has various flood defences.

"There’s barriers, there’s aqua sacks, any of the windows and doors and ground level are flood resilient, apart from the automatic door which needs some attention.

"The kitchen is metal and the rendering on the tiles is waterproof.

"It puts us in a slightly better place if [flooding happens again]."

As there are flood warnings across Cumbria over the next few days, Mary had some advice.

She said: "Sign up for the free environment agency flood warning. And if you get a flood warning, plan what you’re going to do. Move your car. You don’t want a flooded car and a flooded house.

"Move your belongings, your pets, your kids to a place of safety as much as you can upstairs."