ABOUT £100,000 is to be invested by Hampshire County Council in Appleshaw and Redenham as part of a £11.5 million county-wide flood prevention programme.

The money - raised by deferring planned maintenance - will be used to resurface and raise part of the road and to enlarge culverts.

But the villages' Flood Advisory Group also has a message to all landowners who have water ditches running across or alongside their land. In this month's village newsletter, ARC, the group says: "The situation is rather serious for the villages because, unless we can persuade all landowners with drainage responsibilities to follow our advice, the likelihood of a recurrence of the flooded roads and houses of the 2000/2001 winter is high."

All the ditches along the Appleshaw/Redenham boundary from Biddesden to Weyhill have been checked.

And the advisory group adds: "Although a few of them are cleared of summer growth, very few have been dug back to their original depth and in their present state are unlikely to retain the amount of water which filled them two years ago."

According to the Environment Agency a landowner is responsible for maintaining the bed and banks of a watercourse if it flows through the land or runs alongside it - possibly between the land and the highway.

The group says that Appleshaw Parish Council is responsible for the portion of ditch between the culverts opposite the Walnut Tree and the end of Derby Cottages.