- The Environment Agency carries out repairs to the flood storage area in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire
- End of work scheduled for January 2022
- Further work will continue in the new year to rehabilitate the gardens and recreation area
A 200-meter wall, which runs along part of the Cocker Beck next to the cricket ground in the center of the village, is part of a flood storage area that retains excess water during periods of heavy rain.
After being severely tested during several periods of flooding over the past 20 years, the defense had deteriorated. The Environment Agency is rebuilding the fender and driving more robust material deep into the ground along this length of the Beck.
The Environment Agency’s director of operations for the East Midlands region, Alan Walters, said:
We are very happy to have started the work on site to help the residents and businesses of Lowdham. We are using a new steel pile fender which will be stronger and more robust than the previous plastic pile wall. In addition to reducing the risk of flooding now, the work will help reduce the impacts of climate change as more extreme precipitation is forecast.
It has been a real challenge to get this project up and running and we thank the community for their patience and continued understanding regarding the disruption that accompanies the delivery of this critical work.
Work began in September to remove vegetation to create access to the site and build a temporary defense while work is complete. Temporary pumps were also installed to handle the high water flows during the works. Work on the new steel pile wall itself began in November and will be completed in January.
Further work will continue in the new year to rehabilitate the gardens and recreation area of the village.
The village park, which is home to football and cricket grounds in the center of the village, is designed to be flooded and acts as a “flood water storage area”. By keeping flood waters here, the risk of flooding for homes and businesses is reduced.
Work is also underway to further improve flood protection at Lowdham with £ 5million funding in July 2020 as part of a £ 170million government investment in defense projects against flooding “ready to shovel”.
The preferred option for the project is to store water in a new meadow upstream of the village. The prairie would be a dry reservoir, remaining dry for most of the year and filling only when flooding would normally occur.
Notes to Editors
Lowdham is a village east of Nottingham with a population of over 3,000 people. Through the center passes the section managed by the Environment Agency of the Cocker Beck which flows as a tributary of the much larger Trent River. The village has a history of flooding as a result of extreme rainfall.
Narrow spots in the Cocker Beck under some of the village bridges restrict the flow of water during high river levels and cause it to overflow, resulting in inundation of property and infrastructure.
Village green was developed as a method of flood protection after the 1999 floods.
Construction work on a £ 60,000 Natural Flood Management (NFM) program (funded under the Environment Agency’s £ 15million NFM program), began in the winter 2018, featuring leaky barriers, earth bunds and ponds. These natural measures aim to slow down and store flood water on farmland before it enters the Cocker Beck. This aims to complement the use of more traditional engineering solutions, such as flood walls further downstream to help reduce flood risk for local communities. The project is carried out in partnership with Trent Rivers Trust and Nottinghamshire County Council.