Ouse Washes

Embankment Raising

  • Client
    Environment Agency
  • Value
    £30m
  • Duration
    Six summer seasons + two years maintenance
The ongoing Ouse Washes project for the Environment Agency sees the Jackson team maintaining the banks of one of the largest flood storage reservoirs in the country – providing critical protection for over 2,000 homes and 67,000 hectares of valuable agricultural land.
Located on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border, the flood reservoir banks are continuously settling, so need building up to their original design level. The £30m scheme involves raising the mid-level barrier bank 1metre along its entire 30km length.

Partnership

Central to the project is Jackson’s partnership with earthmoving specialist company Mick George, which ensures all vehicle movements take place on haul roads across private land, so as not to burden the public highways. Additional works include the installation of a new bridge and 100-metre reinforced concrete flood wall at Welches Dam Pumping Station; the extension of a retaining wall at Sutton Gault; and the installation of a major temporary flood barrier at Welney.

Wildlife

This fenland location is also internationally important for its conservation value, meaning the Jackson team can only work over the summer months, so as not to disturb the flocks of whooper swans and widgeon that arrive here for the winter. Both the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and RSPB have centres here and Jackson installed a number of state-of-the-art bird hides across the area to be enjoyed by nature enthusiasts.

‘Jackson’s ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment and their collaboration with key sub-contractors has resulted in efficient and safe delivery of this challenging project.’

Nicola Oldfield, Project Manager, Environment Agency

Community

Public engagement is key and during the works season Jackson’s public liaison coordinator arranged visits for pupils from Sutton Primary School to learn about the history of Ouse Washes. As the Covid lockdown took hold, our communications team also produced a public information video for a virtual exhibition aimed at keeping the local community up-to-date with the project.

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