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Home » Farmers Working Together » Farmer Network Newsdesk » Official Opening: Works Complete

'Official Opening' of Flood Defence Works

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Thanks to everyone who turned out for the two events held last week in relation to Phase 2A of 'Slowing the Flow' of the Mill Brook which rises at Harthill on the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge.

The first event, held on Monday 20 September, marked the 'official opening' of the completed flood defence works and was attended by all stakeholders, together with a Councillor from CWaC, Officers from the Welsh Dee Trust and the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

This project was delivered by the Environment Agency, working in partnership with Bolesworth Estate, Tenant Farmer Robin Langford, Mersey Forest, ELM Associates, TWiG and Pownall Plant Ltd, the contractor responsible for all the earthworks.

David Brown, Senior Flood Risk Management Advisor with the Environment Agency, said: 'The commitment of these organisations to work together and explore nature based solutions alongside traditional flood defences, is a powerful component of our response to the Climate Emergency'.

On Saturday 25 September and as promised by Tattenhall Wildlife Group (TWiG), residents were then invited to a tour/information session of the completed flood mitigation measures to see, first hand, just what can be achieved using natural flood management techniques and which should assist in reducing future flood events in the heart of Tattenhall.

Approximately 20 residents met at the Flacca and were guided through Phase 1 (completed in 2016 at a cost of £13,000) and then Phase 2A (at a cost of approximately £45,000).

Dr Nicki Hall from ELM Associates, together with TWiG, provided a detailed understanding of the measures which have been introduced to slow the flow of the Mill Brook in China Meadow, namely the introduction of 3 curved bunds and associated drainage, the seepage barrier which can be adjusted according to flow and water retention ponds. It is confirmed that Phase 2A has the capacity to hold up to 4,500 cubic metres of water upstream of the village. This is in addition to the 1,000 cubic metres which is slowed in Phase 1. The original course of the Mill Brook (now straightened) was also clearly visible.

China Meadow will continue to be lightly grazed by the tenant farmer with no inputs of fertiliser, thereby continuing to reduce nitrates flowing into the water course.

It was emphasised that Phase 1 and Phase 2A are only two measures to 'slow the flow'.

Attention will now be diverted to reducing the flow still further in the wider river catchment. Climate change and the increasing frequency of flood events are providing new challenges for our landscapes.

Huge 'CONGRATULATIONS' to everyone in turning this project around at speed.