Work starts on flood bank repair

ESSENTIAL works to strengthen a flood bank in Ponteland have begun this week.

The repairs to a 100metre stretch of bank at Eland Lane are needed because it has slumped in parts after being damaged by horse riding on top of the bank.

It will be widened to make it more stable and make it easier to maintain in the future.

The project will cost £30,000 and will take two to three weeks to complete.

This section of flood bank helps to reduce the risk of flooding to the Eland Haugh housing estate.

Simon Eadington, operations delivery technical support project manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We had already raised this flood bank following the floods in 2008, but it is now slumping in parts, so it is crucial that we repair it.

“Once the top of the bank is made wider, vegetation will grow much better and we will be able to use our equipment to cut it more easily.”

In future, the bank will have restricted access for use only by residents of the housing estate.

A fence on top of the flood bank, which is not a public footpath, will prevent horses getting on to it and a gate will be put in place for use by residents, as many use it for dog walking.

In the coming weeks, officers will also be removing trees on a one kilometre stretch of the River Pont between Berwick Hill Bridge and the Diamond Bridge.

They will remove the lower branches of any trees overhanging the river to get rid of any obstructions that may cause a flood risk in future.

This work is part of regular maintenance that the Environment Agency does on this stretch of river to reduce the risk of flooding.