FIREFIGHTERS joined other volunteers to clear ditches prone to flooding.

The ditch, near The Avenue, Benfleet, was cleared in a two-day project with the fire service, Essex County Council and volunteers.

Residents and Hadleigh Infant School have a legal responsibility to keep the ditch clear, but the fire service stepped in to help.

Richard Farrant, assistant divisional officer at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have done extremely well and, because of residents’ help, we should finish ahead of schedule.

“We’ve cleared 80m of the ditch of all the weeds to allow a survey to be done before engineers install grids and screens.

“We think we’ve really made a difference here and it was great that people came to help.”