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Environment Agency staff turned out in force last week to erect demountable flood defences in Bewdley, Worcestershire, for the first time as the River Severn threatened to flood following heavy rain. Designed by German firm Bauer, the defences use aluminium posts and horizontal beams, normally stored off site, fitted into unobtrusive permanent ground beams. Agency contractor Birse installed the permanent foundation system earlier this year (NCE 24 January 2002).