The Environment Agency recently hosted an event for school pupils and local residents in Teesside to see the flood defenses that reduce the risk of flooding to their community.
Pupils at High Clarence Primary School were shown around the state-of-the-art £4.5 million flood defenses at Port Clarence which reduce the risk of flooding from the River Tees.
And they saw first-hand the £11 million scheme, currently under construction, which reduces the risk of flooding from Greatham Creek and will create 30 hectares of new habitat for wildlife to thrive.
Great project with innovative features
Phil Marshall, the Environment Agency’s Senior Advisor on the project, said: “It’s really important the community understands how the flood defenses at Port Clarence work together with the scheme at Greatham Creek to reduce their risk of flooding.”
The first phase of the project was completed in December 2015 and saw new flood defenses built in Port Clarence, consisting of a mixture of earth embankments, flood walls, and a raised section of the road on the approach to the Transporter Bridge.
In addition, the Environment Agency worked together with local business Wilton Engineering to install removable steel flood defenses along the River Tees. This improves flood protection while still allowing Wilton to operate from the river.
Work started on the second phase in summer 2017 and involves raising existing flood embankments along Greatham Creek.
There is also a managed realignment of part of the current flood defenses. This means a new embankment to the north of the RSPB Saltholme Nature Reserve has been built around a larger area of land, and then the existing flood embankment will be breached later this year. This results in the creation of around 30 hectares of intertidal habitat to the north of the nature reserve.
The Environment Agency is working with local businesses in the area, with SABIC UK providing funding towards the scheme and INOVYN ChlorVinyls providing some of their land for the additional habitat creation.
Phil added: “Work is progressing well and is expected to be completed this autumn. By working together with industry we’re vastly improving existing defenses to protect residents and businesses and reduce the risk of flooding now and into the future as sea levels start to rise.”
Contractors BAM Nuttall and Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (BMMJV), are carrying out the work on behalf of the Environment Agency.