Work has begun to protect more than a thousand homes and businesses in Morpeth in Northumberland, four years after flooding devastated the town.
A number of young oak trees have been removed from the riverside to make way for protective walls.
The work is expected to take until early next year and has been welcomed by residents who think that the work is long overdue.
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It comes as households already face a triple-whammy from airfares, fuel and electricity prices.
Firefighters are urging residents to be extra vigilant if using candles over the winter months and during the Hindu festival of Diwali.
A North York Moors project that aims to inspire families to love the great outdoors has received a special National Parks award.