Work is currently underway to refurbish Lincoln's Stamp End sluice gates, a critical part of the city of Lincoln's flood defences. The massive gates will receive an electrical and mechanical upgrade designed to extend their usefulness for another 30 years.
Defence and navigation
The Stamp End sluice gates consist of three steel gates and mechanisms that prevent the build-up of water in Brayford Pool. The most important piece of River Witham infrastructure in Lincoln, the Stamp End gates have a critical role to play both in river navigation and flood defence.
Work started in July with the removal and replacement of a new gate and is expected to last for 5 months. Works will also open up a previously inaccessible waterway from Stamp End to Claypole that will act as a sanctuary for protected eels.
Five year plan
The work on Lincoln's flood defences is part of a five year plan launched by the Environment Agency designed to secure a healthier and greener future for the UK. Known as EA2025, the plan will create greater resilience to climate change through the development of better flood defences and infrastructure to tackle coastal change and drought.
The combination of environmental enhancements and improved flood defences in the Stamp End project is a showcase of EA2025 in action and highlights a renewed focus on improving the health of water, land and air for a greener and more sustainable future.
Lincoln Defences Project
The £6m refurbishment will be complete, subject to weather conditions, in March 2021. The finished project will protect around 40,000 homes and businesses in Lincoln by creating more than 2km of riverside walls in addition to the renovation of three sluice gates. The additional environmental improvements are expected to generate economic benefits valued at around £33m for the local region.
While Lincoln's flood defences network has been regularly maintained and has worked well to protect the city and its environs against the threat of flooding, necessary repairs and improvements are required to ensure that they continue to provide the same levels of reliability in future. The additional enhancements for wildlife are an intrinsic part of the EA2025 plan and the entire project is funded by Defra as part of the commitment to significantly reduce the flood risk to more than 300,000 homes by 2021.
Work continues despite Covid-19
The Environment Agency has been able to continue working throughout the coronavirus pandemic through strict adherence to social distancing measures. Work completed so far includes repairs to the river's defensive walls at a range of locations along the River Witham and the upgrades to the sluice gates at Great Gowt, Bargate and Stamp End.
In line with EA2025 objectives, coir rolls - tubes of compacted organic matter - have been used to complete the defensive work. These protect against the risk of erosion while providing an immediate natural habitat that attracts fauna and flora to the local environment, improving biodiversity. This bioengineered solution provides an excellent soft engineering solution for sustainable bank toe protection.