Whittlesey Washes South Barrier Bank Works
The Whittlesey Washes Flood Storage Reservoir lies to the south of the River Nene, east of Peterborough. It plays an important part in helping to reduce the risk of flooding during combined high tides and high river flows. During high river flows and high tides, flood water is stored on an area of land surrounded by embankments. As the tide recedes, water is released back into the River Nene.
When the Reservoir operates, it stores a volume of water greater than 25,000 cubic metres above surrounding ground levels and is therefore, under the Reservoirs Act 1975, routinely inspected by an independent engineer to ensure its safe operation. The most recent Engineer’s Report identified that the 17km reservoir dam, the South Barrier Bank, must be improved to reduce the risk of the Bank being breached during an extreme flood. The bank strengthening works will maintain the structural integrity of the South Barrier Bank.
The works will take place over a period of four years. Year One works will take place between Ring’s End (Guyhirn) and Eldernell (Coates). The majority of the work will take place in the summer to avoid disturbing over-wintering birds on the Nene Washes.
To avoid causing disruption to residents, we will be using existing farm access tracks to get to the site. We will not be using routes directly adjacent to residential properties.
Who the Environment Agency are working with?
The project is being carried out by the Environment Agency with support from partners. This includes ourselves, Whittlesey Consortium of Internal Drainage Boards, Middle Level Commissioners, Fenland District Council, Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Natural England, and the RSPB. The cost of the construction work will be funded by Flood Defence Grant in Aid with contributions from our partners.
The North Level District Internal Drainage Board’s contribution to the Scheme, as a partner organisation, is to take on the future responsibility for the maintenance of the South Barrier Bank upon completion of the Scheme.
Partners contributions were key to obtaining the necessary funding to allow the Scheme preferred by the majority of consultees to progress through the Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding process.
The ownership of the bank will remain with the Environment Agency, however the herbage rights will be handed over to North Level District Internal Drainage Board and let for sheep grazing.
On completion of the works, the 350 acre site will be sown with grass seed suitable for sheep grazing, the remaining sections of the bank will be flail mown on an annual basis to keep them well maintained.
In addition to grazing and flail mowing, the South Barrier Bank will be annually inspected for Vermin Damage and any necessary remedial action taken.
Further information can be found by clicking on the following links:-