Wainfleet Embankment


  • Client
    Environment Agency
  • Value
  • Duration
    6 months
A Jackson team was called to Wainfleet All Saints after the Lincolnshire village hit the national news in June 2019 when two months of rain fell in three days.
This caused a breach in the flood embankment on the River Steeping, which led to hundreds of homes being evacuated. Assessment of the embankments found that some had eroded. Rather than take a hard engineering approach to stabilise the defences, the Jackson team, working on behalf of the Environment Agency, installed an environmentally sensitive solution using bioengineering and vegetation re-establishment.

Barrier to erosion

Often working from the water, the team fixed rock rolls against the embankment at the toe-line and then placed lengths of coconut coir rolls over the top. These were pre-planted with native riverside plants whose root systems hold soil in place and act as a natural barrier to erosion. The vegetation also provides habitat and cover for riverside wildlife.

In some areas the erosion was so bad that the banks had to be built-up again – using larger bags of rocks to establish a new bank before backfilling with earth.

Environmental collaboration

Throughout the project the Jackson team worked closely with on-site ecologists to ensure disturbance to the river’s population of water voles – a protected species – was minimised. Jackson’s commitment to minimising disturbance to the local environment also led the team to use solar panels to power its facilities at the site compound. This Solartainer delivered an 85% reduction in CO2 emissions versus the expected output from a standard diesel-driven generator.

'The aim was to protect the Wainfleet area and residents by reducing the likelihood of a flooding event. We achieved this while also offering an increase in environmental biodiversity.'

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