ONE does not need to be an expert on looking at the picture on today’s front page (“Dam collapse warning”, The Herald, August 2 to see that the panels that have been dislodged from the slipway of the Toddbrook Reservoir are very flimsy-looking.

The slipway when built in 1838 was probably fit for purpose then but nearly 200 years later with a substantial population lying downstream of the dam did no one consider that the slipway construction was no longer fit for the 21st century?

Anyone can see that the panels have not been constructed with steel mesh or reinforcing and are in-dependent of each other. Joints between them would have allowed water ingress causing the earth below to slide and then leading the panels to break away. Any structure is only as strong as its weakest part and in the case of Toddbrook it would appear to be the flimsy nature of the slipway.

Any other earth-filled dams in the UK of any great age should now be looked at again in a new light.

Alex Dickson, Lochinver.