FLOOD barriers have been erected in Bewdley to cope with rising water levels in the River Severn.

The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert in the area after persistent heavy rainfall, and says flooding of roads and farmland in Bewdley and Stourport can be expected during the next few days.

Firefighters joined Environment Agency staff at Beales Corner, in Stourport Road, this morning (Sunday) to erect the flood defences.

Meanwhile the Environment Agency is warning drivers to plan their routes and avoid low lying roads near rivers.

A spokesman said: "River levels have risen at the Bewdley river gauge as a result of persistent heavy rainfall.

"Consequently, flooding of roads and farmland is expected for the next few days.

"Flooding is affecting low lying land and roads adjacent to the river from Highley to Tewkesbury. Other locations that may be affected include Stourport, Holt Fleet, Worcester, Kempsey, Severn Stoke and Upton upon Severn.

"We expect river levels to remain high until March 21.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff have erected demountable flood barriers at Severnside and Beales Corner in Bewdley.

"Please plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded."