The Great Biblins Flood

Monday, 4 November 2019

From early on Friday 25th October until late on Saturday 26th October, the rain fell constantly and heavily over Biblins camp site.  More importantly, it also fell on the hills and mountains of Wales, filling the many streams and tributaries of the River Wye.  By the Sunday (ironically, a gloriously sunny day), the River Wye at Biblins was showing distinct signs that it was putting on weight!!

Dan and Jenny (Wardens for the weekend) kept a close eye on its rising levels and moved assorted campers to higher ground – culminating on Sunday night by moving a group of D of E campers from Pitch 1 into the Burrow.
 
Just as well, as this is the view that greeted me upon arrival at the site on the Monday morning.
 
 
The young people from the D of E group were all wondering where the camp site had gone – I was wondering how I was going to get into the Warden’s cabin with dry feet!
After a tricky climb along the steep slope behind the Cabin, I managed to get onto the veranda, where I found the view even more troubling.
 
Koodoo was under about 3 feet of water and, by lunch time, the marquee had succumbed to the steady flow and collapsed.  Remarkably, the mess tent, store tent and 2 bell tents seemed hardly to notice the river flowing through them.
 
 
For the rest of the day, we watched helplessly as assorted items of equipment floated by – Saucepans; Washing up bowls; Straw bales; Wooden benches; Biffa Bin and, most surprising of all, a three seater couch.  This being one left from V camp and in use on Koodoo for the comfort of the campers.  It ended up in a tree down near pitch 3 and has now been added to the heap of wet and ruined items destined for the skip!
 
Looking the other way from the Wardens Cabin and things were no better.
 
 
People crossing the bridge had no where to go, so the Forestry Commission closed access on the “dry” side.
 
The waters finally peaked about midday, or a little after and then slowly began to receed.  By the following morning, the River has got back into its bed and we were all mightly relieved.
 
 
Having spent the previous two years working hard to make Biblins a success, I freely confess to shedding a few tears when I saw what was happening to the site. 
 
Once we could get back into Koodoo the damage was nowhere near as bad as feared and it looks like we will be able to rebuild and repair.
 
If anyone would like to help with our recovery, then we are having a Work Day at Biblins on this coming Sunday (10th November) – if you can help, please get in touch with Mike Lawrence (Biblins Project manager) michael.lawrence@woodcraft.org.uk
 
Chris Sturgeon.
Site Assistant – Biblins Youth Camp Site.