Working with developers to reduce flood risk
The new channel and wetland when works were first carried out in 2019
As part of talks to reduce the risk of flooding to residents in the Thornton area, a former government site at Norcross which was being redeveloped for housing was visited. The developer was very interested in the delivery of flood risk management works which went above and beyond the statutory requirement. We asked if they would consider re-meandering a section of Royles Brook which was historically straightened, disconnecting the flood plain and leaving a lifeless trapezoidal channel. The answer was yes, and so we immediately set to work.
The aims of the project were to store water at the site during times of peak flow for around 12-18 hours, thus creating capacity in Royles Brook. This is important as it will allow local surface water drains to discharge into the brook for longer during periods of heavy rain, reducing the risk of surface water flooding in and around White Carr Lane. It will also store water upstream of Thornton, allowing other watercourses and surface water drains in Thornton to discharge. The works will also reduce the amount of surface water which finds its way into foul sewers, ensuring that capacity is retained within the United Utilities network.
Working closely with Wyre Council and using robust formulae we designed a new channel based upon the amount of water which can be held within the existing channel when it is full. The channel is around 7m wide along its 250m length, it also features a number of meanders and areas of varying depth to ensure that natural morphological processes can take place within the channel.
The creation of the channel began in November 2019 and the work has now been completed.
Benefits of the Project
Along with benefits for the reduction of flood risk, the project has a wide array of other benefits, the creation of floodplain wetland will support a wide variety of species of flora and fauna, the wetland and channel will also capture silt, removing it from the watercourse and improving water quality. The reconnected floodplain will also store water itself, potentially storing an extra 2000m3 of water during flood events.
Volunteers helped to plant the site with wetland plants in 2020 to increase biodiversity and 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.
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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