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Torksey Pumping Station in the 19th Century




































Internal Drainage Boards (IDB’s) were originally set up to provide drainage in areas of need i.e. low lying areas.  Several have been around in some form for hundreds of years.  The Newark Board was formed in 1949 – its predecessors were the Newark and Southwell Boards which were formed in 1936.  In April 2012 the Newark Board amalgamated with Laneham, Kingston brook and Fairham Brook IDB’s to form the Trent Valley Internal Drainage Board.  Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) are statutory public bodies and operate in accordance with the Land Drainage Act 1991 and other subordinate legislation. The Board’s District extends through the Trent Valley from South of Nottingham to just North of Gainsborough and part of the Vale of Belvoir.  The total area of the District is 44,093 hectares (108,956 acres)

The Drainage System

The Board has permissive powers to maintain a selected network of watercourses within the district. Other watercourses are the responsibility of the riparian landowner but the Board also has permissive powers to ensure they are satisfactorily maintained.  The Board operates 18 pumping stations; the remainder of the area is drained by gravity. 

Operations and Environment 

The Board employs a direct labour force of 14 operatives to maintain the drainage system of over 741 km of watercourse.  The watercourses vary from semi-natural streams such as the Caunton Beck to artificial pumped drainage channels such as the Marton Drain near Gainsborough.  Machinery operated by the Board includes 6 excavators for dredging and weedcutting and 5 tractor-mounted flailmowers for bank and hedge maintenance. 

Environmental issues are a priority for the Board as the Board’s watercourses are a vital habitat for birds, mammals and various flora.  Timing of works takes these issues into account and the Board liaises closely with Notts Wildlife Trust and Natural England in relation to the works programme.

Funding and Administration 

The Board is made up of 12 members elected by the ratepayers and 13 Local Council representatives appointed by the relevant District or Unitary Authority.  Meetings are held 4 times a year where members agree the works programme, policy and finance.  The Board is a member of a consortium of Drainage Boards and is managed by Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board based at Manby, Lincolnshire. The Board’s local administration and operations team of four are housed in offices on Castlegate in Newark, where rates may be paid or queries answered in person during office hours. 

Funding is through a drainage rate which is based on land and property value and levied on all property within the Board’s district.  The rate on agricultural land is paid by the occupier and non-agricultural rate is paid by the Local Authority. 

The Board’s expenditure is currently just over £1.5m and income consists of approximately 63% Local Council levy, 19% Agricultural rate & 18% Other income.

Last modified: 10-Aug-2012