Awards success for schemes at Hythe Ranges and Lydd

A joint submission, showcasing two projects to improve sea defences on the south coast of Kent, was recently named a finalist in the International Excellence category of the Flood & Coast Excellence Awards 2021.

The Hythe Ranges Sea Defences project and the Lydd Ranges Emergency Works were carried out by Van Oord, supported by their subsidiary partner Mackley and on behalf of the Environment Agency.

Storms in winter 2019/20 severely depleted the coastline in front of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) firing ranges at Lydd, and immediate emergency works were required to stabilize them. A major capital scheme to improve the protection from coastal flooding at Lydd was planned for 2021/22.

At the same time, a £25 million scheme to refurbish the beaches at Hythe, located some 25km away and with similar characteristics and environmental requirements, was also about to get underway.

The Environment Agency and Van Oord came together to solve the challenges posed by the requirement for immediate intervention at Lydd, limited access due to the MoD using the firing range, and how to meet the very difficult and tight specification for beach material that complied with the strict, legally protected requirements for the internationally designated nature conservation site.

A specialist dredging team was employed from the Netherlands, who developed new world class technical excellence in screening capability to provide a very low level of fines in the dredged shingle nourishment material. The complex specification is required to ensure that the coastal processes that underpin the nature conservation site are maintained.

The joint submission aimed to recognise the exceptional team working to the benefit of all, including the Environment Agency, the MoD (main landowner beneficiary of both schemes) and the wider community.

Following a rigorous judging process, the submission was selected as a finalist in the International Excellence category of the Flood & Coast Excellence Awards 2021.

These prestigious awards recognise the important work that has contributed to managing flood and coastal risk, building local flood resilience and taking action on climate change.

Photo: Mackley