"We have lost 60 per cent of our trade due to constant flooding and are worse off now than during the Covid-19 pandemic, because at least we had financial support then."

Those are the words of the landlady of one of Cambridgeshire's oldest pubs who is concerned whether the business will remain viable in the future due to road closures caused by persistent flooding in the local area.

Gina Birch, licensee of The Lamb & Flag in Welney, said: "Things are difficult and it's worrying. 

"The problem with flooding just seems to be getting bigger.

"It's day 80 of the A1101 Wash Road being shut, so we're cut off from Cambridgeshire, as well as passing trade from Littleport and Ely.

"Anyone going to the Wildfowl Trust as well. The fact that the Sixteen Foot Bank is shut as well doesn't help.

"There are no preventative measures in the pipeline either, as far as I've been told."

Because of the lack of customers, she said that some staff members' working hours have had to be cut.

She added that, due to the diversion, one staff member's route to work has gone from a five-minute drive to 50. 

"It's hard to get people to support in general, she said.

"We understand there's a cost-of-living crisis, but there's only so much the village can support.

"We're already relying on a thinly-spread customer base, but for that to then be practically halved..." 

She added that having fewer customers through the door also impacts Elgood's brewery, which owns the pub, "as we struggle to sell the beers.

"It's a shame because it's a long-standing pub, having been with Elgood's since 1860." 

In a post on The Lamb & Flag's Facebook page, she also urged local residents to “use it or lose it” amid “endless road closures”.

“Your pub needs you,” the post added. 

“Please use it or lose it, we can’t survive with the endless road closure without your support.” 

Their Facebook post attracted the support of Christchurch-based business The Village Cakery, who said: “We had the pleasure of doing a pop-up here one year and have ate there on a few occasions and the food is always top notch.

“If you’ve never been I definitely recommend, especially at the minute with the wash being flooded.

“This means a loss in passing trade/regulars from the Littleport side.

“If there was ever an excuse to go out for dinner, helping a small local business stay afloat is definitely a good one in my eyes.” 

Wisbech Standard: Welney Wash Road near Downham Market is closed after flooding

Wisbech Standard: Gina Birch, landlady of The Lamb & Flag Inn, in Welney, Cambridgeshire.