The Environment Agency is about to start work on the final phase of a flood improvement scheme in the village of Wick near Christchurch that will include some temporary road closures.
Contractors have been busy, since December 2014, raising and extending existing flood embankments at Wick Farm. Improvements to earlier defences, built in the 1990s, will protect properties from tidal flooding from the nearby River Stour. The project also includes a number of wildlife habitat improvements.
‘Our contractors, Land and Water Services, have made good progress and are not far from completing the work. The final piece of the jigsaw is to raise the road surface between 78 – 86 Wick Lane to prevent water getting behind the new defences,” explained Mark Goldingay, of the Environment Agency.
To enable this work to take place, Wick Lane will be closed for three evenings next week while the new road surface is laid. The closures will be from 6pm to 12am on 16, 17, and 18 February. Residents will not be able to drive past the junction of Wick Lane and Riversdale Road at these times. Emergency vehicles will be allowed to pass if necessary and the road will re-open at midnight each day. Parking will be available in the Riverlands car park and residents that need to use their cars during the evening while the road is closed can use this facility for free.
The project has already delivered improvements for wildlife in nearby Christchurch Harbour. “We have dug out 500m of ditches and created shallow ‘scrapes’ in the harbour, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This will encourage wading birds such as redshank, curlew and lapwing that like to feed in the shallow water and muddy margins,” said Sarah Guest for the Environment Agency.
‘We will be replacing cleared vegetation with a variety of native trees and shrubs to provide berries, seeds and nectar for butterflies and other insects and to offer shelter for nesting and overwintering birds and small mammals. We hope the environmental improvements, which were developed with Natural England and Bournemouth Borough Council, will enhance the outdoor experience for people using this area,’ she added.