Next stage of project to reduce flood risk in Tattenhall is completed

The second phase of a project designed to harness the power of nature to reduce flood risk to the people of Tattenhall in Cheshire was recently completed.

Delivered by the Environment Agency working in partnership with the Bolesworth Estate, Tattenhall Wildlife Group, Environmental Land Management Associates (ELMS), The Mersey Forest and Pownall Plant Ltd, the project has seen the creation of three water storage areas, using earth bunds, where up to 4,500 cubic metres of water will be held upstream of the village when flooding might occur.

The areas have been created using banks to temporarily hold water back in existing fields, reducing the amount of water that travels downstream during heavy rain and helping to protect local communities from the devastating effects of flooding.

The latest round of works followed on from Phase 1 of the scheme which created 1.5 hectares of new habitat including reed beds and wet grasslands that will also hold water back in addition to helping local wildlife to thrive.

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.

“There has already been some great work delivered in partnership across Cheshire over the years to help slow the flow of floodwaters but we need to do more. We hope that our work at Mill Brook will be a catalyst for more of these measures to be installed elsewhere in Cheshire.”

Andrew Hull Chair, Tattenhall Wildlife Group (TWiG) said: "Since the flood event of January 2021 every effort has been made to protect the local community from further inundation. Phase 2a of the Mill Brook flood defence scheme provides a potential solution and our thanks go to all partners involved in a very successful outcome."

Nicky Hall, ELM Associates said: “The natural flood management measures implemented on farmland along Mill Brook will make an important contribution to reducing flood risk in Tattenhall village, and may also deliver other benefits such as improving water quality and providing habitat for protected species such as water voles. This small-scale project working with farmers, landowners and the local community is a great example of collaborative efforts to implement a practical and cost-effective solution to achieve better community flood resilience. ELM Associates will be working with the land managers to support ongoing management of the site through future Environmental Land Management Schemes.”

Nina Barbour, Managing Director of Bolesworth Estate, said: “Tattenhall has been integral to Bolesworth since the estate was established, hundreds of years ago, and we are proud to be a part of the village’s community. It therefore remains vitally important to us that we maintain our support of crucial projects like this which are designed to help protect the community and improve habitat for wildlife. We can all well remember the heart-breaking scenes which we witnessed at the beginning of this year, where people, including some of our tenants, saw their homes, businesses and lives severely affected by the flooding in the village.

“That’s why we are pleased to be working in partnership to drive this environmentally conscious, innovative scheme forward and it is terrific to see another part of the project has now been completed.”

The natural flood management project at Tattenhall forms part of the Environment Agency’s overall vision to develop flood management schemes that will not only reduce the risks to local communities, but also tackle climate change through carbon capture and new habitats for wildlife. Cheshire West Council, who have declared a climate emergency, also supported the project during community consultation and in consenting the watercourse works.

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