Plans to transform Southwell's flood defences as part of a £5m Flood Alleviation Scheme is gaining momentum.

Via East Midlands, who have a good track record of engineering and drainage design, will deliver the main part of the scheme on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council and a dedicated project team, including a water and flood specialist, is leading the work.

Via surveyors and sub-contractors have already been out on site undertaking ground investigation and surveys to inform the robust detailed design process which will build on the extensive flood modelling work already carried out. Engineering works to construct the new flood defences across the town are expected to start in summer 2019.

Work, in partnership with the Trent Rivers Trust and the National Flood Forum, through a project part-funded by the European Union FRAMES Project, constructing Natural Flood Management measures in carefully selected areas around Southwell is also well underway.

So far, three earth bunds, a number of Leaky Barriers and three temporary ponds have been installed by the Trent Rivers Trust. All of these measures are designed to catch and hold back water running off land during times of heavy rain, releasing it slowly after the event has passed.

Earth bunds are positioned to catch as much water running over land as possible. The leaky barriers are designed to let low water flows pass unimpeded, but during higher flows, hold water back and in some cases divert it into ponds and storage. The bunds and leaky barriers have been built using materials present on site in an effort to maximise the sustainability of the project and to help create habitat for wildlife. The project is still ongoing with more works planned in the coming months.

The National Flood Forum continues to work with the Southwell Flood Forum and the wider community to help residents and businesses become more flood resilient. 

Photo shows Church Street looking towards Easthorpe, Southwell in July 2013 © Stewart Todd