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The Norfolk Broads Forum / General Chat / Flood Relief Work - River Ant
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Flood Relief Work - River Ant

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Paul
Nov-07-2005 @ 4:05 PM                           Permalink
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I'm hoping someone can satisfy my curiosity regarding the flood defence work.

I unfortunately missed the presentation last year by Nuttals at the start of their 20 year contract, (not very well advertised, unfortunately...)

The two aerial photos show the 'before' and 'after' on the section of the River Ant near me just below How Hill. Seen from the air, the vast scale of the earthworks is much more apparent than from River level, and the new dyke runs all the way from How Hill, down the Ant, past St Bennets on the Bure, and then up the Thurne to Womack Water !  Furthermore, the same enormous excavations have been made over much of Broadland, North & South.

The contractors have excavated a new Soke Dyke (as wide as the River itself), drawing the earth up to a new bank slightly higher than the original River bank. This has left the original pumping ditch between the two earth banks, and it has now flooded to River level, since it is no longer drained.

Am I right in thinking that they will now fill in the gap between the two banks to create a single very wide earth bank, with the River one side and the new (huge) Soke Dyke on the other ?  And if so, what will they fill it with ? As such a vast amount of material could now only arrive by river, would it be dredgings, over a long period of time ?

I tried searching the web, but all I can turn up is vast quantities of 'minutes of meetings' and such....   Confused


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billmaxted
Nov-07-2005 @ 4:21 PM                           Permalink
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You been going up in hairyplanes again or were you exoceted by Nutalls Evil Grin

Don't know about the Ant but the idea down here on the chet was that once stabilised the old bank would be drawn back to form a soggy bog on which a reed bed could form. A lot of us were dead against this on the grounds that a more sluggish river would silt much more quickly especially on the meanders.  Looks very much as if they have adopted the same approach on the Ant. Once done, safe landfall on that bank is impossible and even temporary mooring hazzardous

Midshipman having removed float "But dad you TOLD me to leave the key in the water filler!!!"  Bill...

This message was edited by billmaxted on Nov-7-05 @ 3:25 PM

JeremyFisher
Nov-07-2005 @ 5:21 PM                           Permalink
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Most of the work on the Bure side of the ant from How Hill to Ludham Bridge is being done by the How Hill Trust to create a suitable new reed bed to encourage nesting Bitterns.  As far as I know it is not directly connected to the other flood defence works near us at Womack, but may well be a by-product.

Regards

Simon

A bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office.

Paul
Nov-07-2005 @ 5:33 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Simon,

I don't want to sound like a know-it-all  Blush  , but I've followed the work here with great interest over the past few years, as it's about 20 minutes away from my house.

My photos do actually show the Nuttals flood relief work, which does extend from How Hill all the way  round to Womack.  The area to the left, which I marked as 'Buttle Marsh' is the new reed beds created for the Bitterns.  We watched a chap in a single excavator labouriously create the lakes over a period of 2 years (visible in the 2004 photo), which then became a very attractive bird reserve.  Then along came Nuttals, and took almost half of it away, and appear to have altered the drainage levels, losing some of the lakes !  There seems to have been a lack of communication there...

(and no Bill, no more hairyplanes, the 2005 photo was taken on the fateful day.....)   Scared

Boatboy
Nov-07-2005 @ 5:36 PM                           Permalink
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On our recent trips up the Ant mother asked me what they were doing. I think I almost convinced her that they were making the river into a dual carriageway.

Regards

Paul

"Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers, won't drown"

fendoff
Nov-07-2005 @ 6:18 PM                           Permalink
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Hi
That's a great picture of the massive construction or destruction work going on in this area. I can't help think that there was a missed opportunity at How Hill to make the River just a little bit wider so that boats could moor and yet still 2 other boats could pass comfortably. In doing this flood work what actually are they trying to protect, looking at the maps it looks like farming land, the property either side at Womack don't appear to be protected by this. If they had made it a flood plain then I could understand it. Nobody I have spoken to in Womack seems to have a clue what's going on. On the works at the Thurne end of Womack Dyke they were installing very large pipes but I never did see exactly where they fitted. Do you have any pictures of the Womack end of the Works ? I also can't seem to find anything about what they plan for the Womack - Potter Heigham side. I never knew they had been a presentation by Nuttals either last year. Having only been in the area two years I presumed consultations had already occurred before I moved. At Brundall we had received loads of information on what they proposed to do, but in the end nothing had been decided by the time I left. Any information would be very helpful.

P.S. Paul I hope you are getting better.

fendoff

Merganser
Nov-07-2005 @ 6:33 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Paul.

Bill is right: the general plan is to create a new, higher bank, further back from the river. The old front bank (and by bank, they don't mean the river's edge so much as an "embankment", or ridge) is then removed. At high tide, water should cover the wider low area, allowing new reed bed to establish itself. This is a good theory, and may work in some places - particularly higher up the system, where the flow and tides are not so great. However, the BESL plan is to do the same thing on lower reaches, particularly of the River Yare. You might like to look at the attached photo of a low tide near Berney and wonder why - if reed is so willing to establish itself on any suitable patch of vacant mud - it hasn't done so on the foreshore here...

Incidentally - and this applies to all of you -  BESL have been asked to provide a representative to be part of a panel on the future of the Broads at the NSBA AGM next month. Why not come and ask them questions then?

This message was edited by Merganser on Nov-7-05 @ 5:33 PM


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Paul
Nov-07-2005 @ 7:59 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Fendoff,

Yes, I did take one at the Womack end, (and others along the way, see next post).

At that end, they seem to be just going for a high bank, with just the one drainage dyke, as seen in the photo. Yes, (Paul) I do see the similarity to dual carriageway !!

I'm on the mend, although I still have to wear a back brace (a sort of rucksack frame without the bag),  for another 4 weeks...




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Paul
Nov-07-2005 @ 8:01 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Merganser,

Yes, I can see that logic with the triple ditch along the Ant, but what's going to happen here at St.Benets ?  The river bank is the straight run of piling that forms the good moorings there, surely they're not going to draw those back to a soft reed bed ?

(It's interesting to see the marks of the old causeway to the Abbey from Horning Hall across the Ant)...


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billmaxted
Nov-08-2005 @ 7:38 AM                           Permalink
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When they level the old rhond they are also supposed to be removing any old piling. If they miss any bits I suspect that tacking yachts will find them without difficulty  Scared

Once the profile has been estabilished the old 'tow path' will be gone and once the reeds grow up on both sides of the new rhond personally I doubt you will get much view of the river.

The photo of St Bennet's is very interesting and the 'compartment plans' would be well worth looking at. At best I suspect that any moorings would be isolated from the land unless a bridge was to be built so access to the abbey site would not be possible. At worst they would all be lost.  As this reach is manmade quite what the justification is I don't know, The quay heading has not been there that long by comparison with a lot of places. I would have thought it's going to erode yet more of the old foundations.  

The detailed proposals which formed the basis of the planning approval should be in the public domaine and enquires of the local district council or the Broads Authority should unearth them.

I would agree that getting reeds to grow in a hostile enviroment is not going to be easy and I can see some form of matting being suggested. I doubt however that any compensation will be paid when props get tangled up in it.

The biggest problem with the soft edges is that they will slip into the channel making the margins shallower. As the current method of dredging involves digging out a trench down the middle of the stream and letting the rest slip into it any remedial work would seem likely to speed up that process.  

Midshipman having removed float "But dad you TOLD me to leave the key in the water filler!!!"  Bill...

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