£1.8 million sea defence complete at The Wash

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An area of The Wash shoreline near Wrangle is now better-protected thanks to the completion of a flood defence project.

The project will safeguard over 3,400 hectares of prime grade one farmland, and 460 domestic and industrial properties.

The partnership has raised and re-profiled sea defences, raising them to over 7 metres high, improving the protection for both properties and farmland, and creating additional grassland and semi-wetland wildlife habitats.

Cllr Colin Davie, executive councillor for environment and economy at Lincolnshire County Council said: “I am delighted to see the successful completion of this latest major scheme. Lincolnshire’s flood risk and water partnership was put together six years ago, to promote exactly this kind of co-ordinated working, where each organisation contributes its own specialism to achieve more for our communities and businesses than would have happened were we all working alone.

“In this case, using £1.3m of DEFRA grant funding we have secured an additional half a million pounds of external investment that would otherwise have gone somewhere else. I look forward to our partnership continuing to attract more external funding to help secure a stronger economic future for our county.”

If there was a major coastal flood, the effect on this 5km stretch of the Wash shoreline had been viewed as potentially catastrophic, with the lowest sea banks along the Wash frontage, and only a single line of defence.

The project, led by Witham Fourth District IDB, also involved installing a steep slope behind the sea wall leading to a ‘soke dyke’ to cope with future over-topping. During high tides, these accommodate the water that permeates up through the ground and during heavy rainfall, they enable surplus water to flow to pumping stations.

The Project Board also included Lincolnshire County Council, landowners, Environment Agency and Natural England.

Peter Bateson, chief executive of Witham Fourth District IDB, said: “This was a comprehensive project that followed a major survey in 2016 to identify the existing profile of the banks, collect environmental information and to assess the full scope of the works.

“This was the first major improvement to coastal flood defences in the area for over 30 years, and by working in partnership, W4IDB has been able to help protect farmland and residents for future generations, while remaining sympathetic to the environmental responsibilities in this unique area.”