Army called in to help in Swaledale as clean-up operation begins

The Army has been brought in to help distribute sandbags in Swaledale as the clear-up operation gets underway in communities affected by yesterday flooding.

Soldiers from Catterick Garrison have been called on to help prevent further flooding.

Sgt Sharon Findlay, from Richmondshire police, said: “We have managed to get to Reeth but we are advising motorists to only make the journey if absolutely necessary.

“There is a lot of debris on the roads as well as abandoned vehicles.

“The road from Richmond is shut but people are getting on from Redmire, from Askrigg and over the Stang.”

More on the flooding from Richmondshire Today:

Free teas coffees food are available at Reeth Memorial Hall today for those affected by the flooding in area today.

The hall is also a drop off point for anyone with donations of clothing.

Sandbags have been used this morning in a bid to divert water from homes in Bellerby although numerous properties have already suffered severe flooding.

Numerous homes in the village have been flooded out as has the Cross Keys pub.

Landlord John Begley’s four-year-old daughter Athena was staying at the pub last night and had to be rescued by firefighters.

The pub’s cellar was completed flooded, with the kitchen also damaged and a wall knocked down outside.

He said: “It’s devastating. We’re in the middle of a refit at the moment.

“I’ve never seen anything like it my 73 years. There was people outside putting sheets over the cars as they were worried about them getting damaged by hail stones.”

In Moor Road, Bellerby, cars were picked up by the flood water and bashed into other vehicles and houses.

The water picked up these cars and bashed them into each other.
Damage caused by flooding in Moor Road, Bellerby.

Olly Rycroft, a gamekeeper for the Bolton Estate, drove along flooded roads and fields in his Land Rover to get to his elderly parents’ home in Bellerby, near Leyburn.

He said: “A policeman said I couldn’t go any further but I said ‘I am as my parents are trapped in their flooded home’ and he let me through.

“The water was up to my was it in their front room. It’s destroyed their brick shed and has picked up two cars that were parked outside and crashed them in to each other.

“But nobody was hurt and it’s all covered by insurance. Worse things happen in the world I guess.”

Stuart Macy, 55, from Wakefield, is on holiday in Bellerby.

Sandbags have been used to keep water from getting into the holiday cottage he is staying at with his daughters and two grandchildren.

He said: “This is our first holiday staying in the UK and it’s probably going to be our last.”

North Yorkshire County Council says several roads remain closed this morning following yesterday’s deluge.

These include:

  • B6270 Downholme to Grinton
  • A6108 Downhole to Halfpenny House
  • C106 Grinton to Reeth
  • B6270 Grinton to Reeth Riverside Road, Richmond

Richmondshire District Council says waste collections will be disrupted in the areas affected by the flooding today due to the road closures.

Anyone wanting a sandbag should call police on 101.


  1. We were staying in Low Row and travelled to Richmond yesterday for a walk to Easby Castle. It took us 3 and half hours for a 25 min journey. We tried many ways to get back to our cottage but flooding stopped us about 5 times. Eventually got back on the High Lane and now back home in Bolton.

  2. I certainly hope others don’t follow Stuart Macy’s comment of it “probably being going to be our last ” holiday in the UK. These terrible events are beyond anyone’s control. This wonderful area needs and deserves our support to help rebuild.

  3. I am staying in Reeth and I am still there until my holiday ends. It is not the locals fault that this has happened and they need help to rebuild such a beautiful part of the country. I will definitely be back, regularly! Now that this has happened, infrastructure should be put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again!

  4. Lovely, lovely Swaledale. I was in tears yesterday. We’ll be back in the spring, not caring about any inconvenience. Stick to the Costa Brava, Stuart, it’s more your style.

  5. Very much looking forward to our planned visit at the end of next week – wouldn’t miss a week in the beautiful Dales for the world. Thinking of you all.

  6. We, too look forward to our planned visit at the beginning of September and hope that our small contribution t.o your economy during that time will help a little. Our hearts go out to you all.

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