Huntingdon firm playing key role in work to rebuild vital flood defences

Work has begun on the 10.5million Ouse Washes Reservoir scheme

Work has begun on the 10.5million Ouse Washes Reservoir scheme - Credit: Archant

Work on a multi-million pound project to raise the flood banks along the Ouse Washes reservoir has begun, with help of Huntingdon-based Mick George.

Work on a multi-million pound project to raise the flood banks along the Ouse Washes reservoir has begun, with help of Huntingdon-based Mick George.

The company, which has its headquarters on the Ermine Business Park, has been working on behalf of civil engineering firm JacksonHyder raising the flood banks at the Ouse Washes reservoir, which is part of a £27m development.

The project, which is expected to take three years to complete, will raise the height of the embankment along a 30km stretch of the washes from Earith to Welmore Lake Sluice, in Downham Market.

Michael George, contracts director, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be working on this project. The site has a lot of heritage and, we believe, being a local company serving the surrounding regions on a daily basis, that we are best placed to deliver the project with the attention that is required.

“We recognise the impact that the current failures of the embankments have on nearby residents, visitors and business operators like ourselves, so have a vested interest in enhancing the location to the highest standard.”

Mick George will also act as a supplier of the materials needed to complete the job as well as completing the formation of the banks.

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As the washes are protected habitat, work will take place during the summer and autumn months to avoid disturbing breeding animals and birds in the area.

Originally constructed in the 1630s as part of the drainage of the Fens, the embankments have been repeatedly modified and repaired. Major works were last undertaken between 1990 and 1996 to raise the banks.

Following construction works there will be a further two years of maintenance works to establish a grass covering.

The flood bank is the dam of the flood storage reservoir; the area of the Ouse Washes which is deliberately flooded.

When full, the reservoir stores 90,000,000m3 of water - enough water to fill Wembley Stadium 22 times over. The reservoir protects thousands of homes, roads, railways and more than 67,000 hectares of farmland from flooding during the winter.

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