Working with partners to reduce flood risk
One of the two new storage wetlands along the Hillylaid Pool watercourse
At an old ICI site in Thornton we worked with the landowner to create a new wetland area to store 6,000m3 water, creating capacity during periods of high rainfall as well as providing opportunities for wildlife and improving water quality.
Watercourses have often been straightened in the past to save space or reduce flooding. The meanders are cut out to create an artificial channel which means water travels out of the area quickly because it doesn’t have to travel as far. However, the water then flows faster, causing erosion of the river banks and river bed which can increase the likelihood of flooding downstream. The river also tries to get back into its old channel due to gravity.
The existing Hillylaid Pool channel which runs through the site was straightened in the 1970s, leaving the old “paleochannel” stagnant. The work carried out reconnected the old channel to Hillylaid Pool to create a more natural watercourse. Two adjoining wetlands were also created which filter out pollutants, improving water quality as well as providing water storage to reduce downstream flood risk.
Wetlands for wildlife
The wetlands have also supplied new habitats for the wildlife on site. Common lizards, butterflies and small mammals currently use the area, along with a diversity of bird life. A new pond was also created to support great crested newts and brash piles were formed to provide habitat for hibernating amphibians and reptiles.
Volunteers helped to plant the site with wetland plants in 2020. Once established these plants will provide habitat for a wide range of species.
We continue the monitor the site to see how it is developing. We have also been undertaking ecological surveys of the site, including small mammal surveys, newt surveys and botanical surveys.
In 2021 a leaky dam designed by a specialist wetland construction engineer to slowly release water out of the wetland and back into Hillylaid Pool was removed from the system due to concerns it was blocking up the watercourse.
This video from the Rivers Trust explains the ideas behind Hillylaid Wetland
We have been working with partners to create a wetland to store water and increase biodiversity in the Thornton area.
We are working on a landscape scale project to reduce flooding in the Wyre Catchment.
We are working to restore a section of Royles Brook which runs through King Georges playing fields in Thornton- Cleveleys to benefit people and nature.
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