Specialist sports turf contractor Duncan Ross has completed a multiple-pitch construction and drainage project as part of the £18.5 million Skirting Beck and Whangs Beck Flood Risk Management Scheme in Egremont on behalf of the Environment Agency who have completed this project’.
Formally opened on the 9th December 2022 by MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison, the Environment Agency project scheme reduces the flood risk to properties in the area while improving sports surfaces and facilities for the local community.
Paul Robertshaw, Project Executive at the Environment Agency said:
“We are delighted that the £18.5 million flood scheme is now complete, reducing the flood risk to 220 properties, ahead of winter this year.
“The scheme not only better protects people and properties in the area from flooding but has created a better place for the community by providing, improved community amenities and an enhanced environment for wildlife to thrive.
“The help and cooperation of local residents, West Lakes Academy, the Falcon Club, schools and nurseries has helped this scheme and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support over the years.”
VolkerStevin Ltd and the Environment Agency created a flood storage reservoir to intercept and attenuate flood water from Skirting Beck before it reached Egremont Town, causing flooding in periods of heavy rain.
The area chosen to create the flood storage reservoir and surface water control system was on a 2.7-hectare disused hard porous pitch and tennis courts attached to West Lakes Academy. During design works, Sport England stipulated that the site had to remain suitable for sports.
The flood storage reservoir is designed to retain flood water by the construction of a retaining wall around the outside of the site, with the beck then being choked at the outlet end and open at the inlet end.
The beck then flows into the flood storage reservoir/sports pitch area and is retained until other flood levels reduce.
Once the flood storage reservoir has drained down, it needs to again be suitable for sport. For this reason, Duncan Ross Ltd was employed under the design of the drainage system by professional design consultants PSD Ltd.
The upper 150mm thick surface was removed from the hard porous area and tarmac tennis courts and replaced by imported topsoil. A GPS grade control bulldozer graded the topsoil to create the exact gradients of the existing area so as not to decrease or increase the holding capacity of the flood storage reservoir.
A new drainage system was installed by our GPS guided 15/15 Mastenbroek trencher. The Environment Agency monitored all works to prevent any contamination to Skirting Beck.
The area was then sand ameliorated with a 50mm layer thickness of medium fine sand and seeded. Once the sward had established, the area had slit drains installed at 1m centres and all spoil was removed from site, the area was then top-dressed at 180 tonnes/hectare vertidrained and fertilised.
Some of the difficulties encountered were the sourcing of a suitable 6000 tonne topsoil to match as near as possible local soil, working within such a narrow access site, sourcing materials to Egremont, the weather and working on site during Covid and all that entailed.
One of the many positives was working with VolkerStevin staff on this project, who provided excellent leadership and whose attention to all health and safety matters was exemplary.
The works will be completed in May 2023.
On the project, MP Trudy Harrison said: “This is a milestone day for the Egremont community. This area has suffered the devastating impact of repeated flooding for many years, and this significant investment will now make a real difference to families and businesses locally.
“I’d like to thank the Environment Agency and all the partners for working together for the benefit of the community.”