River project’s £50,000 award

Dunston Beck viewed from the air. EMN-170720-160350001
Dunston Beck viewed from the air. EMN-170720-160350001

A Sleaford area village will be better protected from flooding thanks to a new £137,000 natural flood scheme.

The Wild Trout Trust, working with the Environment Agency, has been successful in obtaining £50,000 of Government funding, just announced by Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey, to support the delivery of a river restoration scheme upstream of Dunston.

The project, which is currently in the design and feasibility stage, aims to re-connect a straightened section of the Dunston Beck with its old meandering course and floodplain.

Not only will this provide great habitat for wildlife and a nice place for people to enjoy, but by slowing the flow and increasing the storage capacity for water on the flood plain it will help to reduce the risk of flooding in the village.

Future monitoring will allow the Trust to learn from this and use the knowledge in other similar projects.

Tim Jacklin, Conservation Officer at the Wild Trout Trust, said they were exploring other funding streams to secure the remaining money required for this project, which forms part of the wider Lincolnshire Limestone Becks Project, which is a partnership between Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, his organisation and the Environment Agency.

He said: “The aims of the Becks project are to involve communities in appreciating and looking after their local beck, improving wildlife habitat and improving resilience of the becks to flooding and droughts.”

Lincolnshire Rivers Trust have submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the wider Limestone Becks project and if successful, the grant would form part of the matched funding needed to deliver projects, including the one at Dunston.

Mr Jacklin said: “The specific project at Dunston involves restoring the course of the beck to a more natural, meandering form within some low-lying land between the railway line and the B1188, to the south-west of Dunston village (north of the existing channel of the beck).

“The restored channel will be more sinuous (longer) than the existing artificially straightened channel; it will also be more connected to its floodplain and tend to spill out of its banks more frequently during high flows. This will provide a defined flood storage area for water and deliver it downstream (towards the village) more slowly, hence reducing the magnitude of peak flows downstream. The restored channel and floodplain also provides much better habitat for wildlife such as fish and ground-nesting birds.”

They are working closely with the land owner Beeswax Farms.