CERTAIN parts of Britain have always been susceptible to floods.

However, based on the recent two months of heavy rain, that susceptibility has spread across many parts of Britain and with a gravity that threatens the country.

Whatever the causes of the extreme weather conditions, and global warming has to be a contributory factor, we need to consider the severity of the floods and how quickly cities, towns and villages were paralysed.

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Surely, the focus must be on ensuring that effective measures are in place.

One thing is clear. It is a geographical reality that Britain is an island and the many rivers and estuaries are as much a part of the landscape as the mountains, lochs and dales.

A message emerging from many flood-hit communities is that better protection is needed and whether the defences need to be in place at all times when flood warning dictates is one thing.

But an important consideration has to be the effectiveness of some of the infrastructure, which even the Government has acknowledged is quite dated.

The public must be protected and also must have available to them what is a basic provision - the supply of clean and consumable water.

Bernie Walsh, Coxhoe, Durham.

THE Government is promising a new strategy to minimise damage from floods and other extreme weather conditions. This must include preparing to protect animals.

Animal victims of the recent floods have barely warranted a mention even though many have been lost. Pets have drowned in their homes and farmed animals have suffered and died in fields and barns. There are reports of sheep drowning and in Herefordshire, 35,000 pheasant poults drowned in one hour when a river burst its banks.

Farmed animals which survived the deluge are still suffering its effects. Cows are being locked in sheds for even longer periods than usual, or are forced to stand in sodden fields, thereby increasing their risk of infection and lameness.

Extremes of weather already kill farmed animals every year with lambs dying from hypothermia and chickens, pigs and other animals dying from heat stress. As our climate changes and weather patterns become more extreme, animal suffering is set to increase.

Anyone feeling anger or sadness over this can opt out by not buying or consuming animal products. Free information and support is available from Animal Aid at The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW, or via info@animalaid.co.uk.

Kate Fowler-Reeves, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid.

I HAVE read that the Government is still considering whether to apply for EU emergency funding in relation to the severe flooding crisis.

Surely, if we were to cut back on the funding we offer and give to other nations we would be able to fund our own flood defences and after-effects of flooding.

RC Aggersburg, West Cornforth, Ferryhill, Co Durham.