EMERGENGY response flood defences have been tested which when deployed will protect a rural village.

Environment Agency teams conducted an exercise in Ribchester where they ensured the rapid deployment of temporary flood barriers were in working order.

Specialist workers installed and took down the barriers to practise their emergency plan for the village for the first time.

The equipment was installed alongside the River Ribble which dissects the village.

The operation will give the agency workers valuable experience on the deployment of the equipment which can be used at a variety of locations.

Matt Crump, operations manager at the Environment Agency, said: “This defence is slightly higher than the previous barriers and we’re also deploying it on a slightly longer length.

“This will protect about 24 properties if we had another really big event again.

“Part of the flooding in Ribchester is from Duddle Beck.

“That will come up when the River Ribble is really high and the barrier will hold that water back.”

Nationally the Environment Agency now has around 25 miles of temporary barriers, and 250 high volume pumps, stored around the country.

The barriers can be transported quickly to locations when they are needed to reduce the impact of flooding to homes and businesses and help reduce the clean-up required after a flood.

The Ribble River has breached its banks several times in the Ribchester, Whalley and Sawley areas in recent years.

On Boxing Day, 2015, more than 30 members of the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team helped with the evacuation and recovery in Ribchester where flood levels were described as extreme.

The Ribchester Arms was described as a ‘complete mess inside’ and cut off by waist-deep water that flooded the kitchen and ground floor.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Cllr Stuart Hirst, said: “It’s good to see meaningful, significant and flexible plans in for flood protection.

“I hope such emergency response plans will give reassurance to residents in Whalley, Ribchester and other areas who have been so badly affected by the flooding events of recent years.”