Broads Authority Scoops Funds from ERDF to Develop Innovative Dredging Solutions (UK)


The Broads Authority has been awarded around £800,000 from the European Regional Development Fund to develop innovative dredging solutions for the management of the waterways.

The project, which is called PRISMA (Promoting Integrated Sediment Management) involves working with Dutch, Belgian and French partners and will help to deliver planned projects highlighted in the Authority’s Sediment Management Strategy.

John Packman, Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, said: “This successful bid is really welcome. At a time when we have had our National Park Grant cut by almost a third, this will enable us to deliver some good projects for the benefit of the Broads.”

Trudi Wakelin, Operations Director, said: “One of the biggest obstacles to dredging of the rivers and broads is the lack of available sites to dispose of the sediment. We plan to use the fund to develop disposal opportunities across the Broads which will enable us to benefit areas which haven’t been dredged in recent years.

This funding will enable us to work with three partners from Holland, Belgium and France comparing dredging techniques and learning from each other about how we reduce sediment coming into our waterways and sustainably remove it from them”.

Three of the key projects in the Broads are the extension of the island creation scheme in Duck Broad, rebuilding a bank at Salhouse Broad and building a new mud wherry.

Trudi Wakelin said: “We hope to start extending Duck Island next winter, subject to getting planning permission and Natural England’s consent. Our trial project this year to rebuild an area lost by erosion using gabion baskets and geotextile bags appears to have been very successful. This funding will help fund the construction of a larger island, again using dredged material from the channel leading into Hickling Broad called Heigham Sound.

We are also planning to dredge the River Bure between Salhouse and Wroxham Broad using the sediment to reinstate a bank lost to erosion at the entrance to Salhouse Broad.

Finally our old mud wherries, which are used to carry sediment to the disposal sites, were inherited from May Gurney and are rather old. This funding will help pay for the building of a new vessel, the first of its type in the Broads for many years.

This is the second tranche of money the Broads Authority has received from Europe in recent times. In 2010 €500,000 were awarded from the Regional Development Fund to be spent on sustainable tourism projects as part of the STEP programme (Sustainable Tourism in Estuary Parks). This has helped fund a range of projects including the website, touchscreen technology in visitor centres and this month’s very successful Outdoors Festival.

The other PRISMA European partners are Waterways and Seacanal in Belgium, Waterboard of Schieland and Krimpenerwaard in the Netherlands and Armines acting through Centre de Douai, France.


Source: broads-authority, June 8, 2011;