Working ‘together’ with the environment to tackle flooding in Thornton

A project using natural flood management techniques to protect homes against flooding, whilst improving water quality in Thornton, near Blackpool is nearing completion.

The unique project has brought together experts from United Utilities, the Wyre Rivers Trust, Wyre Council and McDermott Homes to deliver an innovative natural flood management project, which is creating up to 3.3 hectares of wetland and 8,500m3 storage.

The work which has taken place in White Carr Lane, Hillylaid Road and at King Georges Playing Field in Thornton, will provide numerous benefits to the area which has experienced significant flooding, most notably in 2017.

The project will tackle the risk of flooding from the two main sources; Hillylaid Pool and Royles Brook. As well as reducing flood risk, the project will provide other societal benefits, including improved water quality, providing habitats for wildlife and green space for the local community to enjoy.

Katie Duffy from United Utilities said: “Solving flooding is not something that can be achieved in isolation, collaboration is key. This project is a prime example of what can be achieved when expertise from all flood risk management agencies come together to find a solution that not only helps protect homes against flooding, but is also environmentally sustainable to deliver.”

Tom Myerscough, General Manager at the Wyre Rivers Trust added: “The Thornton Flood Risk Resilience project is a great example of how collaboration between statutory agencies, local authority’s, water companies, developers and Rivers Trusts can deliver Natural Flood Management projects with a wide range of benefits for the environment and local communities.

“The wetlands which have been created as part of this project will help to alleviate flood risk, improve water quality, increase biodiversity and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. They will also provide a valuable space for nature in the urban sprawl of the Fylde Coast. It is hoped that these projects will act as a catalyst for the delivery of other urban natural flood management projects in the Wyre catchment.

McDermott Homes who helped with the construction of the scheme at White Carr Lane, to support flood reliance said: “We recognise the importance of creating sustainable developments and when presented with the opportunity to get involved in delivering this innovative flood management scheme we were glad to assist.

"The completed scheme will not only provide flood relief for the local area but forms important habitats for wildlife and an attractive greenspace for the local community."

United Utilities and The Rivers Trust recently announced a ground-breaking strategic partnership to tackle the big challenges facing rivers in North West England, to help bring together everyone with an impact on the health of our rivers to foster better collaboration and target longer term investment in tackling any pollution, whatever the source.