Prime Minister David Cameron praises Norfolk boy for his flood defence ideas
23:25 21 March 2014
Archant Norfolk © 2014
An inspired Cobholm youngster who struck upon an idea to help protect flood-hit communities has received praise from the very top – after getting a thank you from the prime minister.
Ten-year-old Louis Griffin was spurred into designing his own flood barrier after watching a documentary on TV about how Britain was battered by storms before Christmas.
And after putting pen to paper he sent his innovative idea – complete with diagrams – off to David Cameron, and was thrilled to receive a reply from Number 10.
Written on behalf of David Cameron, the letter thanked the youngster for his efforts and said his designs had now been passed on to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) who would be in touch.
His grandmother Sheena McBaine, 50, said: “I was hoping they would acknowledge that he had sent a letter but I wasn’t expecting anything like this. He’s really made up over it and really excited.”
Mrs McBaine was with Louis when he struck upon his idea and helped him with his letter to Downing Street.
She added: “We were watching a programme about Britain flooding and he said ‘why can’t they do this or that?’ And he said ‘I think I’ll write to the man in charge of the country’.
“I said ‘you mean the prime minister?’ and he said ‘yes, that’s the one’. I typed it out and he told me what to put.”
And his inventive idea – which involved building curved, concave barriers that would drive waves back into the sea – has now inspired his teachers and classmates at Woodlands Primary Academy, as pupils have been studying and discussing flooding.
Mrs McBaine thought Louis’ inspiration came in part from his time spent in Wales, where the family used to live.
“They have got lots of mud slides in Wales and they have metal crates filled with rocks,” she added.
“His idea was to have a metal crate filled with rocks in an arch so the waves would come up and go back on themselves.
“It’s quite clever really.”
The youngster, who wants to be a scientist when he grows up, is now eagerly awaiting his letter from Defra.
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