July 12, 2024

Boosting biodiversity and reducing flood risk in Sheffield

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Work is now complete on a park project aimed at reducing flood risk, whilst creating a habitat for both wildlife and Sheffield residents to enjoy.

A series of celebration events are planned at Manor Fields Park over the summer, where the Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme (SuDS) – designed to ease pressure on Sheffield’s watercourse and sewer network – is located.

The SuDS will reduce the flow of water in the park’s Kirkbridge Dyke when there is increased flow due to heavy rain. The creation of a permanent shallow basin, making up part of this new wild habitat, will hold small volumes of water. During a storm, the water level within the basin will temporarily rise, before being slowly released back into the watercourse afterwards.

The new capacity created further downstream will then accommodate more run-off water from houses, roads and pathways, alleviating pressure on drains and sewers. In addition, the SuDS has created a wetland-type environment that will provide a haven for a diverse range of plants and animals. The project has also created new walking trails and routes for park visitors to explore.

The scheme has been delivered by Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) – in partnership with the Council’s Parks and Flood Management teams – and The Green Estate Community Interest Company, which manages the park on behalf of Sheffield City Council. The works were carried out by specialist contractor Britcon Ltd.

To celebrate the completion of the SuDS and to thank park users and visitors for their patience and understanding whilst the works have been carried out, The Green Estate is hosting a programme of free family summer events, including wetland trails, crafts, cycling confidence and woodland crafts which have been part funded by Sheffield Housing Company.

The new SuDS project will also support the creation of 148 new homes in the Harborough Rise and Manor Park Avenue areas.

Howard Young, Senior Development Manager at SHC said: “This would not have been possible without the patience and understanding of park users and the hard work of the team involved in its delivery – our contractor Britcon and The Green Estate.

“As the new area establishes itself and the plants bed in, I’m sure it will enhance biodiversity, providing new recreational spaces in the park.”

Creating this upstream water storage capability above the points of discharge from new developments is not typical. This new approach is a result of the watercourse and sewer modelling undertaken during the Three Brooks Flood Project – part of the Sheffield Flood Risk Management Plan.

Sally Cuckney, Head of Urban Green Places at The Green Estate, said: “The community have been very interested to see the project progress over the last few months. We received lots of positive comments especially around it helping to reduce flooding and create additional habitat for wildlife. It is great that this part of the park is now back open to the public and adds interest and enjoyment for park users and will increase wildlife.”

Lee Noble, Britcon Operations Director, said: “This has been a genuine partnership with many stakeholders engaged, and we are immensely proud to have supported the successful delivery of this innovative sustainable urban drainage scheme.

“As a local certified carbon neutral business, we are fully committed to improving environmental and biodiversity improvements. This project does just that, by providing a new wetland environment for the local community, whilst reducing the risk of flooding downstream.”

For more information about the summer events, please contact The Green Estate on 0114 276 2828 or email: [email protected]

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