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Retired homeowner builds enormous wall to save his property from flooding

Nick Lupton has erected the 7ft-high flood defence in Pixham next to the River Severn after being flooded 11 times

A couple in Worcestershire managed to keep their home dry this week after building a flood wall around the property. (SWNS)
A couple in Worcestershire managed to keep their home dry this week after building a flood wall around the property. (SWNS)

A retired engineer has been dubbed “Worcester’s answer to King Canute” after he successfully built a huge wall to protect his £600,000 property from flooding.

Nick Lupton, 60, and his wife Anne, 50, live in a converted 17th century house on the banks of the River Severn in Pixham, Worcestershire. It has been flooded 11 times since they moved into it in 2016.

They became so fed up with the costly clear-ups that they decided to surround the entire property with a 7ft-high flood defence. It was finished in October, just weeks before Storm Henk swept Britain.

King Canute, according to legend, tried and failed to control the sea. But Lupton has had more success: drone images show the unbreached house and courtyard surrounded by flood waters after the River Severn burst its banks earlier this week.

The wall was built after 11 floods since 2016. (SWNS)
The wall was built after 11 floods since 2016. (SWNS)

Lupton said: "We live in a beautiful part of the world, right next to the River Severn, with one drawback – we get flooded.

“We finally decided to build ourselves a wall around the house. We built it last summer and it took about four months to complete.

“This flood is quite a high one, it’s close to the record in 2020, so it’s a really good test of it and so far it’s stood up to that.”

The couple remortgaged to pay for the wall and hope it will add value to their home.

Nick Lupton said: 'We live in a beautiful part of the world, right next to the River Severn, with one drawback - we get flooded.'
Nick Lupton said: 'We live in a beautiful part of the world, right next to the River Severn, with one drawback - we get flooded.'

Neighbours, meanwhile, have praised them for taking action.

One, who didn't want to be named, said: “Nick’s a fabulous fella and we all applaud him for what he’s done. We call him Worcester’s answer to King Canute.

“Flooding is such a problem around here. It’s not just the fields that flood, it’s roads and homes. The powers that be must act soon to stop this misery happening again and again or people will simply move away.”

More flooding expected across country

More than 1,000 properties across England have flooded amid heavy downpours this week, with hundreds of flood warnings and alerts remaining in place.

The Environment Agency said “significant river flooding impacts” were expected on Friday and Saturday across parts of the Midlands on the River Trent and in Gloucester.

It said areas of the South West on the River Avon would also be affected, adding ongoing impacts are likely across much of England over the next five days because the ground is “completely saturated”.

Almost every river in England is said to be exceptionally high, with some rivers reaching their highest flow on record.

Caroline Douglass, the agency’s flood director, told BBC Breakfast more than 1,000 properties have been flooded across England this week, with that figure likely to rise.