Watch the moment Yorkshire villagers set up £25,000 flood defence they paid for themselves

Residents of a village near Tadcaster have installed their own self-funded flood defences after Storm Dennis hit.

The 150-metre Aquadam was set up in Kirkby Wharfe on Saturday to protect a row of eight cottages that have flooded several times in recent years.

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The properties were converted from agricultural use into homes during the 1980s and sit beside an area of washland that acts as a drainage basin for the River Wharfe.

Kirkby Wharfe residents erected the Aquadam themselves

The villagers have struggled to obtain support from the Environment Agency to build a permanent flood wall and instead pooled money received from government 'resilience' grants to buy the £25,000 Aquadam.

The Aquadam is inflated by being filled with the flood water it is trying to repel. It is the first time a customer other than the military or a government agency has bought an Aquadam, and representatives from the company's Europe office based in Plymouth travelled to Yorkshire to see it in operation.

The village managed to escape serious flooding at the height of Storm Dennis over the weekend, but water began to back up in the washland on Monday morning as the level of the Ouse had not yet peaked, meaning that water from the Wharfe could not drain away effectively.

Kirkby Wharfe residents were shocked back in 2012 when they discovered that the land surrounding the cottages had been officially designated as a reservoir and was referred to as Kirkby Ings in documents - despite being dry for most of the year.

The Aquadam needs to be filled with flood water

This new status complicated the ongoing battle for better flood defences - as the Environment Agency argued that the wall the group wanted to be built was not safe enough to be constructed within a reservoir.

A series of earth embankments originally built to protect RAF Church Fenton have also been raised since 2009 so that water can be contained within the ings, preventing Tadcaster from being flooded.

There have been two significant floods, in 2012 and 2015, since the 'impounding' of water began.

The Environment Agency has ring-fenced £38,000 in grant funding to be spent on investigating flood protection for the village, and engineers have already begun surveying the area and producing draft plans. They are researching a cost-effective solution because of the small number of properties at risk, and pointed out that the farm buildings were already in a notorious area of washland when they were converted for residential use over 30 years ago.

Residents pooled their government resilience grants to buy the equipment
The Aquadam will protect a row of eight cottages
The Aquadam has been installed
It will protect seven homes
Aquadam in action