Top tips to prevent flooding in your equestrian yard this winter.

The incessant storms and rainfall over the past two months have made this the wettest winter since records began in 1910.

So, what can we learn from this? And, how can you plan for future record rainfalls, and help make your yards more user friendly and workable during these challenging times.

Here are some top tips from us at Scotts of Thrapston:
  1. One of the cheapest and quickest ways to prevent a flood, is adding new soil. If the soil is flattened down, it makes it harder for the water to be absorbed by it, whereas newer soil will be able to absorb it and store it for a while.
  2. Another easy option to prevent or help in the case of a flood is to have lots of trees and plants around. The plants will absorb as much as they can.
  3. If you have a river or stream on your land, plant around the river bank. This means greater interception and a lower river discharge. You can also widen, deepen, straighten or divert the banks to allow it to carry more water and make the flow faster along the course away from buildings.
  4. In big areas like yards with areas of concrete and tarmac, it is harder for water to pass through. The water in these areas are channelled into drainage systems. To ease the pressure on your drainage system make sure you allow for landscaped areas.Scotts offers advice with respect to the groundworks, concrete base and adequate drainage from the initial specification through to the final installation. Each yard will be different so it’s important to have a reputable company, such as Scotts, to advise on the best solution for your specific needs.
  5. Install deep flow guttering to drain rainwater away quickly, making sure you keep them free of moss and leaves which can quickly clog your gutters and disrupt the flow of water. You can also install a gutter guard or a hedgehog style filter to keep the gutter from filling with debris.
  6. Install a guard over your drain to stop debris entering and blocking the system. And, diarise a recurring date to rinse through your drains with a long jet wash hose with a rotating nozzle to keep the flow strong.
  7. Treat timber yards with a microporous wood stain or paint and seal brickwork to reduce water damage. Scotts recommends building the timber frame onto semi-engineering bricks to ensure the timber does not have direct contact with the floor, thus avoiding the ingress of water.
  8. Take a look at products on and have some to hand for emergencies, such as sandbags, hydrosacks (eco friendly sandbags), water extraction pump and modular flood barriers.
  9. Finally, make sure you have a flood plan including where to put the horses, how to turn off electricity and gas etc., so you and your staff are prepared and know what to do in an emergency.

We hope you have avoided problems on your yard so far this winter. And, hopefully these tips can further help and minimise future problems should we have excessive rain.