A major conference with the theme of 'River Restoration in Practice' takes place in Liverpool next spring – with delegates from around the country set to see the work we've delivered with partners in Blackbrook, St Helens.
The conference is organised by the River Restoration Centre (RRC), the country's 'expert information and advice' centre for all aspects of best-practice river restoration and catchment management. The Annual Network Conference brings together professionals from all areas of river restoration including contractors, engineers, consultants, academics, and representatives from trusts, local organisations, and government agencies.
Blackbrook in St Helens has flooded three times since 2000 – with the last event on Boxing Day 2015 (Storm Eva). Blackbrook has a 5% chance of flooding in any given year, with 18 properties at flood risk including three businesses and a major trunk A-road.
Four engineered log dams have been installed to help reduce flood risk. These are natural dams made from tree trunks, back-pinned and encased in spilled living willow. They are designed to allow water to pass in low flow, but in flooding conditions temporary hold back and store flood water that would otherwise travel downstream.
Together, all the dams installed back-up the equivalent of an Olympic swimming pools volume, around 2,500m3 or 2,500,000 litres! This is just the beginning though – further funding is being sought to implement a catchment-scale Natural Flood Management Plan which will include deculverting part of the Black Brook and creating a flood relief wetland.
A visit to the Blackbrook site will form part of the programme of the conference.
Full conference details