Thousands of Cumbrian homes are now better protected from the effects of flooding compared with 2015, the Environment Agency has announced.
Some of the most significant schemes delivered by the Environment Agency across Cumbria since 2015 include:
Ulverston Town Beck flood scheme – The £9.5 million Ulverston Town Beck flood scheme completed in May 2018. It includes raised floodwalls and a maze of underground culverts and protects more than 500 homes and businesses in Cumbria will be better protected from flooding.
A maze of underground water channels (culverts) under the houses, roads and car parks in the town centre were repaired and/or replaced using innovative techniques and flood defences were constructed.
Town Beck lies within a steep catchment and predominantly runs underground through the town centre. The flood scheme consists of a number of sections throughout the town centre including raising existing flood defence walls, installing new floodgates, repairing and refurbishing the underground water channels (culverts), and building a swale in the natural flood plain to ensure that there is no increase to flood risk in South Ulverston.
A new wildflower meadow has also been created as part of the scheme, boosting biodiversity and improving the local environment.
Carlisle phase one – The £25m Carlisle Flood Risk Management Scheme will not only protect people and property but will create a better place for the community by providing an enhanced environment for wildlife to thrive, the Environment Agency said.
The first phase of the scheme reached completion in December.
Covering the Melbourne Park area, improvements delivered as part of phase one of the scheme will reduce flood risk to more than 1,200 homes and 106 businesses at a cost of £12 million.
Work so far has included raising and extending flood walls and improving the flow of water through Botcherby Bridge to allow a greater volume of water to pass through during a flood. Work during this first phase will also enhance wildlife habitats and recreation facilities in Melbourne Park.
Phase two of the scheme will reach completion at the end of April.
Natural Flood Management – The Environment Agency is working with West Cumbria Rivers Trust farmers and landowners on the three-year catchment restoration project, comprising habitat improvement work and the installation of natural flood management features throughout the River Glenderamackin catchment area from Mungrisdale to Keswick.
Work has now taken place at numerous sites and includes 53 leaky dams, new ponds to permanently hold more than eight million litres of water, embankments to temporarily hold back a further 12.6 million litres after storms, improvements to existing ponds and scrapes, 2.8 km of fencing along becks and associated tree planting, and 3.8 km of hedgerow planting and restoration.
All measures are designed to slow the flow of water both within watercourses and the wider landscape to help reduce peak river levels downstream.
“We have made great progress in the last six years to reduce flood risk across Cumbria,” said Stewart Mounsey, area flood and coastal risk manager for the Environment Agency in Cumbria .
“In excess of £55 million has been invested in flood defences across Cumbria with our partners and we have seen the completion of major schemes such as, Keswick, Carlisle phase one and Ulverston Town Beck, all of which are helping to bring peace of mind to communities, as well as creating wider economic investment and community improvements.
“In addition to building new defences, we are also slowing the flow of floodwater using natural flood management and have invested £2.5m in these approaches across the county.
“We look forward to using the next six years of investment in our flood and coastal defences to ‘build back better’ by making properties more resilient to flooding, and ‘build back greener’ by working with nature to make us more resilient to climate change.”