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The Whittlesey Washes Flood Storage Reservoir


The whittlesey washes Flood storage reservoir

5.5km of earthworks strengthen an existing reservoir embankment

The Whittlesey Washes Flood Storage ReservoirA special environment

The Whittlesey Washes Flood Storage Reservoir (FSR) is located on the River Nene just east of Peterborough. It is registered under the Reservoirs Act 1975 and the Environment Agency is the Undertaker for the reservoir.

This reservoir protects Peterborough and adjacent fenland areas from flooding. The Whittlsesey Washes are internationally designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), listed under the Ramsar Convention, are a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of over-wintering birds, the wetland habitat and the spined loach, a rare fish, in Morton’s Leam.

Traffic management was designed to avoid lorry movements through Whittlesey town to reduce impact and safety concerns of pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and local villagers. Our in-house traffic management team monitored the situation daily to maintain high standards and to deal immediately with any issues. Regular cleaning kept local business frontages and road signs free from haul-road brick dust. Meanwhile a road sweeper vehicle, wheel washes and a dust suppression system were all employed on site to mitigate potential nuisance.

Community spirit

The site team successfully built relationships within the community of Ring’s End – lending a hand at every opportunity. We replaced broken fencing for the local Chinese restaurant and, for residents at the Old Toll House, protected a grassed area outside properties to discourage parking. We worked with residents at Heritage House to establish land ownership, so the garden could undergo renovation. Help was also given at the compound of the local football ground, where the site team repaired and maintained the access. We donated wood chippings to local allotments and stables. Lastly, a memorial was situated within the works area, so the site team organised a visit for the family concerned on their memorial anniversary.

Visitors welcome

Visitors were welcome on site. Two schools visited, with presentations to five class groups heightening awareness of flooding. Visits and presentations were also organised for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Chartered Institution of Water & Environment Management (CIWEM.)

Public drop-in events were held to give the community an opportunity to meet with the team, to discuss the project and raise any concerns. These events were supported and attended by project partners: North Level Internal Drainage Board (who managed the Washes), RSPB, Environment Agency Flood Resilience Team, Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council (Highways).


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