Silt to be removed from River Great Ouse to improve water flow and better manage flood risk

The River Great Ouse

The River Great Ouse - Credit: IAN BURT

ABOUT 600 cubic metres of silt will be removed from the River Great Ouse to improve the flow of water and better manage flood risk

The Environment Agency will begin work next month on a three-week project to reprofile a 400 metre stretch of the Great Ouse between Earith Sluice and Earith Road Bridge, near Sutton.

Environment Agency performance manager Greg Murphy said: “We don’t take the decision to desilt a river bed lightly.

“By reprofiling the river at this point we will improve the speed and volume of water able to flow through the system. It will also reduce the need to use the Ouse Washes as a flood storage area as frequently.

“This will ensure that we can continue to safely and effectively manage flood risk upstream of Earith, protecting people and property from flooding.”

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The silt will be stored nearby until it is dry enough for reuse on flood banks

Navigation will be restricted during the works but boat users are encouraged to continue to use the watercourse.

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The Ouse Washes protect thousands of properties along the length of the River Great Ouse from flooding.

During periods of high rainfall the Ouse Washes store vast amounts of flood water. This water is then pumped at Welmore sluice into the tidal river which discharges into the Wash at King’s Lynn.

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