Work has begun on the left bank repair. This is a major project from the Environment Agency. They use various subcontractors including Jacksons and Ulyetts. The initial work is to prepare a compound from which to operate. This is the work that has begun on the football pitch. The first step was to widen the gate so the larger equipment can enter. A layer was scraped off the football pitch (this is the mound in the middle). This is so that a surface can be prepared for the compound.
A white fabric layer was first laid to protect the ground from stones impacting the earth so that it can be more easily restored as a football surface once work is completed. They then added a substrate and surface stone to form a solid compound that will support the heavy machinery, the pilings and other equipment. This work is still in progress. This may seem excessive but it is apparently essential for the large equipment that is to come on site.
Once the work is complete the white fabric, soil and stones will be removed. The football pitch will then be re-profiled to provide additional storage and a proper playing surface. We don’t know exactly what height that will be but we do know it will be lowered as part of the overall plan to manage water in an event.
The next main equipment delivery will be the pipes to go into the beck and stones to place on top of the pipes so that the heavy equipment can be driven onto the beck. The piling (down to 10m in places) will then arrive and start to be placed into the left side bank. Work on the piling is not expected to start until mid November and is planned to finish by end December.
The left hand side of the beck is being prepared. Vegetation on the resident’s side of the existing flood defence has already been cleared. The EA through the contractor Ulyetts are now preparing a working strip of between 3 and 5 m. They are erecting Harris fencing which will shortly be screened to provide a safe working area. They will then construct a sandbag wall along the left bank as a temporary flood defence.
Once the pilings are in place then work will begin on restoring the bank and the football pitch. This is expected to take place in Spring 2022. The football pitch will need to be reseeded and so unfortunately is unlikely to be in use for a 2021 / 22 season.
The EA recognise that the capacity of the beck will temporarily be decreased once they do their work and so in order to prevent flooding whilst this work is in progress they are placing additional pipes and pumps along the beck. These will hopefully not be used but are there as insurance in case the weather turns bad while the work is in progress.