We are currently delivering the 5-year river channel maintenance element of the Lower Don Valley Flood Defence Project. Uniquely, this project is funded by a Business Improvement District comprised of riparian landowners and business who benefit from the capital flood defence works and channel maintenance.
We worked closely with Sheffield City Council to co-design the programme and specification based on our previous experience and knowledge of channel maintenance, specifically in this area of Sheffield. The programme consists of tree, invasive non-native species and litter and debris management. It is partly delivered through a programme of weekly volunteer days, which engages local interest from communities and businesses and provides opportunities and outcomes around health and wellbeing, employability and skills, social inclusion and social cohesion, adding value to this unique project.
The project not only delivers a nationally-significant model for sustainable river management investment, but also a step change in the management of the River Don for flood risk to also deliver benefits for water quality, ecosytems and local communities.
We have carried out a phased, proactive programme of tree management, felling mature crack willow trees to prevent them from breaking off and falling into the river channel. We used a combination of methods to dismantle, cut and extract the trees from the channel including the use of tractors, winches, cranes and climbing teams.