New poles will catch large trees in river

Pictured a week ago is the first large debris catching pole in position, with the second one waiting to be placed.
Pictured a week ago is the first large debris catching pole in position, with the second one waiting to be placed.

Works are currently being carried out to install large debris catchers on the River Wansbeck.

The seven poles upstream of Lowford Bridge are set to all be in place by the weekend. They will help to prevent potential damage and blockages to bridges and structures downstream.

They are 17 metres tall, with 12 metres going down underground into the river bed and five metres visible above the river.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “The holes are drilled very carefully and then a casing is added, before the metal debris poles are dropped into the casing and hole, then concreted in place.

“The gravel bed area, which include blocks that look like Lego, that the workers are drilling through into the river bed will be removed at the end, so all people will be able to see is the above ground sections of the seven poles spanning the river.

“They are designed to prevent large trees that can weigh several tonnes from getting down the river and causing blockages in the town, which is why they need to go down so far underground so they are solid.”

Meanwhile, work is continuing on the project at the Cotting Burn. Workers are currently digging out the area where the upstream storage area and dam will be located.

Once completed, the burn will have more capacity during high flows, better protecting properties from flooding.