Maintenance and dredging of Burstwick Drain does not significantly reduce flooding – says report

Burstwick Drain, Hedon - geograph.org.uk - 746448
BURSTWICK DRAIN has been the subject of a national trial into the maintenance of watercourses carried out by the Environment Agency. This involved dredging and cutting back vegetation, the effects of which were reported by the Hedon Blog in March 2010.

The £132,000 trial which began in February 2010 has now been concluded and the Yorkshire Post has reported that the results show that the work did help reduce flooding risk – but not “significantly”. The report appears to quash the perception that the 2007 flooding occurred because Burstwick Drain was clogged up along its entire length.

Yorkshire area manager for the Environment Agency, Craig McGarvey said: “We listened to people’s concerns about the impact of watercourse maintenance on flooding and set up this trial to scientifically test our understanding of the benefits. On Burstwick Drain, engineers found very little silt upstream of the New Burstwick Clough doors, and as a result dredging in this stretch would have minimal impact on flooding. Dredging downstream of the doors could make a difference to Hedon and Burstwick but the impact is limited to surface water or land drainage flooding. Instead, the results show that the new £3m schemes in Burstwick and Hedon will make a greater impact on reducing the risk of watercourse flooding to these communities. We will contribute towards any future dredging below New Burstwick Clough Doors, as part of a partnership arrangement.”

The partnership arrangement referred to above is the deal in which the Environment Agency will offer £30,000 every five years towards the £80,000 cost of dredging downstream of the tidal doors at Hedon Haven, where the Burstwick Drain meets the River Humber, and further down at Stoney Creek. However, the remaining £50,000 costs will be paid by the East Riding Council, Internal Drainage Boards and other partners.

Related news on HU12: Vital pumps to prevent Burstwick Flooding.

Image: © Copyright Paul Glazzard and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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