SCRT have recently delivered phase one of a Natural Flood Management (NFM) project above Staveley, South Cumbria.

The aim of the project at Reston Scar was to ‘test and trial’ new techniques to reduce flood risk for rural communities. Several leaky timber structures have been installed as well as undertaking drainage works to store, divert and slow flows during storm events.

Leaky dams and ‘Kerplunk’ structures

Timber (Larch) was felled from a plantation near to the project site. The transportation of the timber to and around the sites was particularly challenging, due to elevation, gradient and ground conditions. A low ground pressure tractor fitted with a cable winch, was used help move the timber to the location of each intervention. The terrestrial habitats on Black Crag are especially sensitive and this low ground pressure plant did not break ground or cause any damage to the ecology of the site.

In total six leaky dams and three ‘Kerplunk’ slow the flow structures and short section of earth bund were installed at the site. The dams installed were large features up to 21 metres wide and 1.5 metres high. There was an element of dynamic design to each installation, to accommodate the unique characteristics of each site.

Surface flow disruption

Surface flow or surface runoff is water occurring on the ground surface when excess rainwater or other sources, can no longer rapidly infiltrate soil. A track leading down to Staveley from Reston Scar is a major flow pathway which was identified as a source of flooding.

A significant proportion of the problematic surface flow pathway will now be re-directed from the track into a natural depression in the nearby fields where it will drain slowly into the ground. This was done by adding culverted sections, cross drains and by carrying out track improvements.

Phase two of this project is due to begin any time now which will see the further installation of three large leaky dams and four kerplunk structures.

Here are some photographs of the work we completed during phase 1 of the project;

This project is funded by DEFRA via the Environment Agency, as part of a wider programme across Cumbria.

We will be undertaking a monitoring programme shortly, to help us understand how the structures are functioning under different conditions. If you live locally and would be interested in volunteering e.g. taking photos during different weather events, please get in touch

With special thanks to Catchment Designs Ltd team, Simon and Matt for scoping and delivering this first class project for us.