BUCKSKIN residents have grouped together in a bid to make sure the area does not suffer again.

Around 40 residents, who had all been affected by the groundwater flooding that forced them to evacuate from their homes in February, recently came together at a community picnic in Quantock Close.

At the meeting, the group discussed the next steps following the publication of an independent report into the flooding crisis earlier this month.

The report, commissioned by Hampshire County Council, said a dormant spring, activated by weeks of heavy rain, was a key factor in the flooding, and recommended better monitoring of groundwater levels.

Father-of-one Paul Bensilum, of Exmoor Close, told The Gazette: “We will be setting up a residents’ association for the floods because what we don’t want to see is people splitting away and some people doing one thing and others doing another.

“People were pleased to see each other and there were a lot of people comparing stories and I heard people saying, ‘I am glad to know I am not the only one to look out and see if it is raining’. People went into different bungalows and compared how things were moving on.”

He added: “The overall feeling about the report was that ‘let’s wait and see’ is not good enough. There was disappointment about the borough council’s vote not to create a flooding fund, and we felt that tied in with the ‘wait and see’ approach.

“We have got to do it ourselves, and we have got to keep it in the public eye.”