IT WAS great to learn that deputy Green leader Amelia Womack was in Stroud a few weeks ago to visit the successful natural flood prevention scheme, pioneered by local Green councillors and officers at Stroud District Council, that has helped reduce flood risk and improve biodiversity and local habitats, 10 years after the severe summer floods of 2007.

This is part of a series of visits around the UK by Amelia to highlight the link between flooding and climate change and campaign for investment in natural flood prevention schemes rather than concrete defences.

This comes on the back of new Defra figures that show that spending on flood management in England is expected to fall and the Greens are highlighting that communities are being left hopelessly exposed.

The Government needs to end its fixation with concrete and invest in more sustainable and natural means of flood management, which are cheaper and more effective and have additional benefits that help the local environment.

These figures show that total spending on flood management will have fallen below 2005 levels by 2020.

For communities already affected by devastating flooding this news is totally unacceptable.

But it also means that many more communities across the country are likely to be put hopelessly at risk.

The problem this government has is its total fixation with concrete.

While that has to play in some elements of flood management it should never be the be-all and end-all.

Cheaper, less intrusive, and more environmentally friendly forms of flood management are being trialled across the country.

The government needs to sit up and take notice.

We need a commitment to natural flood management from our Government - empowering local authorities to work with landowners in the uplands of catchment areas.

Cheap and ecologically sound methods of natural flood management can slow the flow before reaching settlements in the lowlands, saving homes and lives from the misery of flooding.

Vicki Wilkinson