It was with great hilarity I saw Elwyn Vaughan jump on to Russell George’s great fallacy that letting water out of Clywedog causes the Severn Valley to flood (‘Plaid makes pledge on valley floods’ page 20 County Times, April 2).

Calculations have shown by the time the Severn in flood gets to Shrewsbury only 10 per cent of the water is from Clywedog, the rest comes from all the feeder rivers like the Rhiew, the Banwy and the Vyrnwy.

Clywedog, like any other dam, is just like a bath, it can only contain a certain amount of water.

In Clywedog’s case this is the rain that falls from the sky, in a bath it is from the taps.

When the bath is full you can just turn the taps off – but you can’t just stop the rain, so over the spillway goes the extra into the Severn below.

Of course Elwyn and Russell may have unknown super powers just like King Canute, who believed he could stop the tide coming in, they will stand either end of the dam and command the rain to stop and the water to stay behind the dam, or perhaps they are the world’s fastest brickies and will keeping raising the top of the dam faster than the rain fills the dam up.

More seriously though, it is the likes of Iolo Williams and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust releasing beavers back into the Cambrian countryside that will contribute to flood control.

Their building of ‘soft’ dams that hold back the rain water in seasonal ponds, help the upland peat bogs retain the water and provide a habitat for hundreds of insects.

And where there are insects all other life will be, fish, birds and to support our economy, tourists looking to get fresh air and exercise in one of the world’s most beautiful places.


Vic Bray

Llanfair Caereinion