Home » Sheffield urban flood scheme offers boost for nature

Sheffield urban flood scheme offers boost for nature

by Mark Cantrell
Sheffield Housing Company's delivery team: (Left to right) Howard Young, senior development manager; Steve Birch, development director; Alex Best, development manager; with Rachel, stilt walker from Greentop Community Circus

A flood alleviation scheme in Sheffield that also serves to create habitats for wildlife, and provide a public green space for city residents to enjoy is finished.

The sustainable urban drainage scheme (SuDS) at Manor Fields Park is designed to ease pressure on the Yorkshire city’s watercourse and sewer network, but it is is also intended to enhance local biodiversity.

The SuDS will reduce the flow of water in the park’s Kirkbridge Dyke when there is increased flow due to heavy rain.

The creation of a permanent shallow basin, making up part of this new wild habitat, will hold small volumes of water. During a storm, the water level within the basin will temporarily rise, before being slowly released back into the watercourse afterwards.

Moreover, new capacity created further downstream will then accommodate more run-off water from houses, roads and pathways, alleviating pressure on drains and sewers.

In addition, the SuDS has created a wetland-type environment that will provide a haven for a diverse range of plants and animals. The project has also created new walking trails and routes for park visitors to explore.

The scheme was delivered by Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) – in partnership with the city council’s parks and flood management teams – and The Green Estate Community Interest Company, which manages the park on behalf of Sheffield City Council. The works were carried out by specialist contractor Britcon Ltd.

Howard Young, senior development manager at SHC, said: “This would not have been possible without the patience and understanding of park users and the hard work of the team involved in its delivery – our contractor Britcon and The Green Estate.

“As the new area establishes itself and the plants bed in, I’m sure it will enhance biodiversity, providing new recreational spaces in the park.”

To celebrate the completion of the SuDS and to thank park users and visitors for their patience and understanding whilst the works have been carried out, The Green Estate is hosting a programme of free family summer events, including wetland trails, crafts, cycling confidence and woodland crafts, which have been part funded by SHC.

The new SuDS project will also support the creation of 148 new homes in the Harborough Rise and Manor Park Avenue areas.

Creating this upstream water storage capability above the points of discharge from new developments is not typical, SHC says.

This new approach is a result of the watercourse and sewer modelling undertaken during the Three Brooks Flood Project – part of the Sheffield Flood Risk Management Plan.

Lee Noble, Britcon operations director, said: “This has been a genuine partnership with many stakeholders engaged, and we are immensely proud to have supported the successful delivery of this innovative sustainable urban drainage scheme.

“As a local certified carbon neutral business, we are fully committed to improving environmental and biodiversity improvements. This project does just that, by providing a new wetland environment for the local community, whilst reducing the risk of flooding downstream.”

Main image: Sheffield Housing Company’s delivery team: (Left to right) Howard Young, senior development manager; Steve Birch, development director; Alex Best, development manager; with Rachel, stilt walker from Greentop Community Circus


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