Flood Alleviation Project Helps Protect Cumbrian Hamlet

Engineering works designed to increase the flood resilience of a small community in South Lakeland have been completed. 

Cumbria County Council has delivered the project which will provide improved protection from the risk of flooding from surface water for six properties at Colthouse, a small hamlet located near Hawkshead. 

The project has involved using Natural Flood Management techniques with the construction of two earth bunds and three timber leaky dams as well as other minor interventions.

The County Council delivered the project, funded by a £39,000 grant from Defra and the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Grant in Aid Fund. 

As Lead Local Flood Authority for Cumbria, the County Council leads on the local flood risk management strategy for surface water flooding. 

Colthouse has previously suffered from frequent surface water flood incidents, including in November 2009, in 2012 and in December 2015.

Two watercourses are culverted as they enter Colthouse where they converge underground. After severe rainfall the culverts can overflow and water flows towards the properties, flooding them to varying degrees.

The recently-completed works at Colthouse will reduce the risk of flooding to the residential properties and also have habitat and biodiversity benefits by de-culverting a section of watercourse. 

The works were carried out on behalf of Cumbria County Council, by the South Cumbria Rivers Trust and their contractor, Catchment Designs Ltd. The site landowner is the National Trust, who kindly allowed the works to go ahead. 

Cllr Keith Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways, said: “I’m delighted the Colthouse scheme is now up and running, providing greater protection from the risk of flooding.

“This work began last year and construction on the ground started in March 2021. I would like to thank our contractors and staff for their work on this project.

“I’d also like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding throughout the construction works.”