THE Environment Agency has removed a large tree that fell into the River Irwell.

The 40 foot tree was blocking the river at Lumb Bridge in Ramsbottom, and the Environment Agency say it was a potential flood risk.

A member of the public reported the tree, and it was removed this morning.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Our team arrived on site at 9am this morning to find the tree, about 40 foot long and a foot and half wide blocking the watercourse.

"Lumb Bridge is a low lying bridge which had the potential to flood if the blockage wasn’t removed and our team set to work with the tree being completely cleared by 10:12am.

“Ensuring our rivers run clear is one of our best defences to reduce flood risk to communities, especially during periods of wet weather. Our thanks go to the member of the public who reported this to us as when we get reports, we will determine what action is necessary and deal with issues quickly, efficiently and with minimal environmental disruption.

“Even before flooding is imminent, our teams work hard behind the scenes to reduce flood risk to homes and businesses across the country every day. We carry out regular maintenance and repairs, work with other organisations to prepare and advise on flooding matters, and constantly monitor river levels and forecasts.”