BERT

About BERT

Brockham Emergency Response Team is a volunteer community resilience group - helping the community as 1st responder during floods or other threats, supported by BEVs Brockham Emergency Volunteers. It also provides a Local Community email news/alert service - to receive or re-subscribe to that, please enter your email address in the Join Mailing List box provided. A full log of BERT work and deployments can been reviewed using the Find Us Online link below. BERT.Brockham@gmail.com

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Latest posts

Young BERT in action this morning

Young BERT in action this morning under Team leader Simon Budd, in Nutwood Avenue and Nutwood Close following flooding on Friday. The difficulty in Nutwood Avenue could not be resolved mainly because there are ongoing works and the new drain does not seem to be of sufficient size to cope with heavy rain.

In Nutwood Close two drains were lifted with great difficulty and found to be full of soil. Six garden bins full were taken from each drain. A third drain was “discovered” underneath a great deal of tree debris in the road. This too was emptied with great difficulty as it was full of roots. A round manhole cover could not be removed as it has been tarmacced into the surface.

Residents will be aware of the need to keep the road swept of tree detritus and litter probably from dustmen to stop this material being washed into and blocking drains.

It was said that the large leylandii trees in Nutwood Close are the subject of a dispute between SCC Highways and the housing association that now owns a former MVDC owned property. This does need to be resolved and the trees cut back to reduce the opportunity for washing vegetation into the drains and blocking them putting homes at risk.

The Flood Forum are asked to deal with the contractors to ensure the new drain in Nutwood Avenue is considered up to the task and to bring Highways and the Housing Association dispute to a resolution

Bob B

Click on these links or more images of the morning's work:

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BERT Deployed Today

Thought you would like to know that at about 1615 this afternoon a call was received from 4 Nutwood Close where there was a threat of water incursion into the house. Workmen have been in the road addressing this issue for about two weeks but a new drain did not help. A second drain is completely blocked by tree debris.

Click here for second photo - after owner swept water away for 15 mins but it was up to step

Trevor Hizzard responded at once supported by Simon Budd as he entered the village from work. Mr and Mrs Heppenstall (BERT volunteers from Nutwood Avenue) turned out. Other BERT members volunteered but were not required.

More sandbags are being obtained and will be left at Nutwood Close.

A successful small operation but we do need more people to pop up from the list of BERT volunteers. It is appreciated that the majority of you are at work.

Thanks to all those involved.

Bob B

Training - use of pumps

Bert briefing on the use of pumps

1030 - noon Sunday 30 April 2017

The bridge in Old School Lane opposite Coach Road

Young BERT will show how pumps should be set up and used

All welcome including potential Young BERT, (lads and lasses) if not already a volunteer a chance to "have a look" before commitment.

Bob B

Brockham Green Village Pump

From Simon Budd:

This morning work started in preparation -

Brockham Green Village Pump.... Part ll

A few years ago 2012 the pump house was sensitively renovated, at the time the railings were not thought to need any attention. Time has passed and the wooden posts have rotted. The Parish Council and Brockham Bonfire have permission from​ Mole Valley District Council to renovate the posts around the Village Pump with like for like replacements​.

Local men

- Mr. M. Nadell has supplied home grown Oak post

- Mr. J. Keen has sawn them to size.

- Mr. M. Harding will refit the rails.

Each post will be put into position by children from the village who have been invited to bury a small time capsule under each post. The opening of which will be when the posts are next replaced, possibly 50 - 100 years from now.

Brockham Scouts

Brockham Guides

Brockham Young Farmers

Brockham Green Day Nursery

Brockham Baby and Toddler Group

Brockham Badgers

North Downs (Brockham) School

The Sunday School

Brockham Bonfire

Brockham Parish Council

Each group will dig in their own post, randomly selected by playing card. Group assignment will be drawn at the annual Parish meeting April 28th, from a hat.

The work is scheduled to finish in time for unveiling​ at​ the Village Fair, 2017 July 15th.

BERT Leads The Way!

Surrey County Council have been working on a new initiative called ‘Surrey Prepared’ that aims to help people in Surrey by providing the information and resources they need to help make their communities stronger and more resilient -

“Surrey Prepared is all about stronger communities and encouraging people to work together to plan and prepare for potential emergencies. We call this 'community resilience', and any individual or group can be part of it”.

If you live in Brockham, this might sound familiar to you,as this is exactly what BERT is all about.

Surrey County Council obviously think we are doing a good job, as they have included details of BERT in the latest issue of their Newsletter as a role model for other communities that might want to start a similar scheme.

The April issue of the Surrey Prepared Newsletter can be read online here –

http://dmtrk.net/16HE-4T9A9-34ND0TT6AD/cr.aspx

BERT Pump Training

BERT will be holding a training session for all BERT volunteers on how to use the pumps:

BERT pump training - Sunday 30 April 1030 -1130 ish by the bridge in Old School Lane by Coach Road, Tanner’s Brook.

This invitation to attend is being sent to all BERT and BEV volunteers. Although more appropriate for BERT members who may be called on to use the pumps at some point in the future, BEVs are also invited to attend.

BERT at Work

From Simon Budd:

Yesterday, BERT used a tree that had fallen in the Coach road pond as a training exercise. Easy when the weather is good.

Pictured Paul Edwards and James Dickman.

Young BERT Work Party 12/2/17

12 February 2017:

This morning a Young BERT working party (along with several adult BERT) cleared a large quantity of leaves from the ditch close to the Old Surgery in Wheelers Lane - a spot critical to the free flow of water to the Mole.

Work was also carried out in the drainage ditch by Vicarage Cottage on The Green (after a large quantity of leaves that had previously been cleared out had been kicked back into the ditch).

Sorry, not had a rant for some time!

Having returned with yet another bag of litter picked in Wheelers Lane this morning I checked the ditch past the church to the grill outside Vicarage Cottage. I have undertaken a number of visits to the grill to remove considerable amounts of leaves washed into the system, as this is a CRITICAL point for keeping the water flowing as blockages here have led to flooding of the church and school.

Someone has kicked back into the ditch all the leaves I have taken out during recent weeks causing an almost complete blockage.

It will all have to be done again and it is heavy work.

If you have a young person in your house you could point out the selfishness and stupidity of what they have done. If it is an adult I give up!

Maybe the school could tell their pupils why the leaves are taken out of ditches. Tell them if they feel tempted to throw litter or kick leaves or substantial twigs into ditches these may cause flooding.

We can only stop Brockham flooding again if we all do our bit so please keep your ditches clear and pick up litter. No point moaning about it do something!

Sorry, not had a rant for some time!

Bob B

BERT Granted Charity Status

As many of you will know, BERT was originally created by Simon Budd, Bob Bartlett and Bob Thomas, following the floods of 2013 when, on Christmas Eve, 90 houses were seriously flooded, 20 cars written off and people in their vehicles were washed away and left stranded on the roofs. The image attached reminds us of the misery caused and why there was seen to be a real need for residents to take action to help prevent this from happening again in the future.

Since that time, BERT has recruited and trained over 50 adult volunteers (and 12 Young BERT) to help provide assistance and information to Brockham residents during severe weather or other local emergency, and to turn out for organised working parties to help keep drains and ditches free flowing.

As the size of the organisation and range of activities grew, it was decided that it would be appropriate to apply for registration as a charity, as it was felt that this would establish the organisation as part of the fabric of the community, for generations to come.

Having identified a number of volunteers who were willing to become Trustees of the charity, and following a long application process, we are delighted that this week we were granted formal charity status. The charity name is 'Community Support in the Countryside' (Registered Charity Number 1171175).

There is always equipment, protective clothing etc. to finance and BERT continues to be funded by generous public donations and local fundraising activities. We are always looking to recruit new volunteers that we can call on in the event of any future emergency - if you would like to be included on our growing list of willing helpers, we would love to hear from you - simply contact us at BERT.Brockham@gmail.com.