Lincoln’s sluice gates refurbished in flood defence revamp

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Preparations are under way for the replacement of Stamp End Sluice’s massive gates, in Lincoln.

Stamp End Sluice is being given a mechanical and electrical upgrade, extending its life by another 30 years.

The structure consists of three steel gates and controls river levels throughout the city, which prevents water building up in Brayford Pool.

Essential for both flood defence and river navigation, Stamp End Sluice is Lincoln’s most important pieces of infrastructure on the River Witham.

The refurbishment started in June 2020 and is estimated to last around five months.

The first gate is due to be taken out today (9 July) and, after some minor works to the structure, the new gate will be installed during the week starting 13 July.

Work will also include the creation of a new passage for protected eels, enabling them to swim past the structure into 34km of previously inaccessible waterway – from Stamp End to Claypole.

The news comes as the Environment Agency launches a five-year plan for reaching a greener, healthier future. The plan, called EA2025, aims to have created more climate resilient places and infrastructure, by ensuring the nation is prepared for flooding, coastal change and drought. It also highlights a renewed focus on improving the health of air, land and water for people and nature – and ensuring a green growth for a sustainable future.

By combining environmental enhancements with flood defence work, the revamp of Stamp End Sluice showcases how both can work hand in hand – and is an example of EA2025 already in action.

The refurbishment of Stamp End Sluice is part of a wider scheme that will maintain the existing standard of flood-risk protection for around 4,000 homes and businesses in Lincoln.

Led by the Environment Agency, the £6m Lincoln Defences Project began in June 2019 and, subject to reasonable weather conditions, is expected to be completed by the 31 March 2021.

More than two kilometres of riverside walls and three sluices will have been renovated, as well as environmental improvements, generating economic benefits valued at almost £33m.

Morgan Wray, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said:

Lincoln’s network of defensive walls and sluices work well to reduce the risk of flooding to around 4,000 homes. 

Naturally, despite regular maintenance, they need repairing and improving every now and then.

This investment will ensure they continue to offer the same reliable standard of protection for years to come, while – at the same time – introducing measures that will enhance the environment for wildlife.

That enhancement is central to our newly launched five-year plan to reach a greener, healthier future by 2025.

But it’s important to recognise that we can never completely eliminate the risk of flooding, and would urge people to sign up to receive free flood warnings via gov.uk/flood or 0345 988 1188. These warnings provide details of what you should do in the event of a flood.

The Lincoln Defences Project has been funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as part of its commitment to reduce flood risk to 300,000 residential properties across the country by March 2021.

From 2015 to 2021, the Environment Agency is investing £2.6bn in projects to manage the risk of flood and coastal erosion nationwide.

Work on the Lincoln Defences Project has continued during the coronavirus outbreak, with strict adherence to social distancing measures.

The Lincoln Defences Project includes:

  • Repairs to two kilometres of defensive walls at various location on the River Witham.
  • The introduction of coir rolls: tubes of compacted organic matter that reduce the risk of erosion and provide habitat.
  • Mechanical and electrical upgrades to sluices at Great Gowt, Bargate and Stamp End.
  • New and improved access to 51km of waterway for fish and eels – 17km from Brayford Pool to Torksey Look via Bargate Sluice; and 34km from Stamp End to Claypole via Stamp End Sluice.

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