PEOPLE living near a swollen river breathed a sigh of relief last night after flooding fears subsided.

The Environment Agency had warned that the River Avon could burst its banks in the Ringwood and Fordingbridge area.

More rain fell yesterday but not enough to cause any flooding.

The Mayor of Ringwood, Councillor Steve Rippon-Swaine, said flood defence work was carried out in the town about five years ago.

“The Environment Agency built an embankment and installed a pump to pump groundwater back into the river. I think that’s helped,” he said.

An Environment Agency spokesman said the situation had improved across the region.

However, the agency is warning people living near the Middle Avon from Ringwood to Salisbury, and the Lower Avon from Ringwood to Christchurch, to stay on their guard.

The spokesman added: “We’re expecting more rain over the coming week, with the weather remaining fairly unsettled.

“We are reminding people in flood-risk areas to stay vigilant.”