A large part of West Lancashire, including Scarisbrick, lies within the Alt-Crossens catchment. Much of the land is at low level and drainage within the catchment is far from natural. A number of satellite pumping stations propel water through hundreds of miles of ditches and raised watercourses to major pumping stations at Altmouth and Crossens where it is pumped to the sea. The system is very similar to that existing on the Somerset Levels.
The system is currently maintained by the Environment Agency. They have been directed by Government to cut costs and withdraw from certain land drainage activities. They will focus on protecting homes but will be withdrawing from land drainage activities that support a significant part of our rural economy. The following pages explore the issue in more depth and outline the potential effects on the area.