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Great Shefford: Thames Water mobilises to save Barry the Pig

Lambourn Valley hit hard by surface water and groundwater flooding

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

Piggin' heck - it's a porker who can't stand water

DON’T worry Barry (the water-hating pig) – here comes the cavalry.

Thames Water has dispatched tankers to save the National Animal Welfare Trust’s rehoming centre in Great Shefford from going underwater.

Recent storms and four consecutive months of above average rainfall have meant parts of the Lambourn Valley have been underwater.

And for the 10-acre rescue centre, which sits on low ground, this has meant its entrance, car park and fields have been flooded by water running down from higher ground, making the site totally inaccessible.

Bad enough for any creature unless it’s a duck – but a nightmare for Barry, a small Kunekune crossbreed pig, who can’t stand getting his feet wet, let alone wading through swamps.

The Newbury Weekly News reported on the picky porker’s plight earlier this month, when centre manager Tracy Waldron said: “Trust us to have the only pig in the world who just can’t stand water. He’s so fastidious that he won’t walk through puddles and when staff tried to cool him down with a hose during a heatwave last summer, he squealed the place down.”

Now Thames Water has come to the rescue.

Ms Waldron said: “As a charity we rely totally on our fundraising activities and visitors to provide our income, so when we had to close due to being flooded by groundwater we contacted Thames Water for help.

“They arrived the next day.

“We cannot thank Thames Water enough and have been humbled by their quick response to our plea for help.’’

Thames Water specialists Lee Griffiths and Jason Watts put out sandbags to stop any further groundwater flooding the entrance before using a tanker lorry, which was already in the local area, to pump away excess water.

Mr Griffiths said: “The Lambourn Valley has been hit hard by surface water and groundwater flooding following recent storms and we were saddened to hear of the problems at the animal welfare trust.

“We’ve had a large team and a number of tankers working in the wider area for many weeks now to stop flooding to our customers’ homes and a full sewer network spilling out into the environment, so when we saw the appeal from the trust we wanted to help as much as we could. Although we can’t control groundwater levels, we’re delighted that we’ve been able to help relieve the impact on the site.”

Mr Watts added: “As we were tankering in neighbouring Lambourn and the lorries were passing close by the welfare trust with empty tanks, it made sense to stop by and pump away the water from their driveway.

“The team were so grateful and I’m sure the animals probably are too.”

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