Following the visit of Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan, last June, two more senior officers from the Environment Agency visited 'The Mill Brook Flood Defence Scheme' this week.
Pete Fox (Director – Water, Land and Biodiversity) and Kevin Austin (Deputy Director – Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Environment) were keen to see and hear about the strong working partnership undertaken by Tattenhall Wildlife Group (TWiG), the Bolesworth Estate and the Environment Agency. They were accompanied by Dr Nicola Hall, Agricultural Advisor from Reaseheath College, together with other Environment Agency staff from the regional office based in Warrington.
You will recall that this scheme has been championed as an exemplar of 'best practice' by the Environment Agency and involved the re-profiling of the southern bank of the Mill Brook together with the damming of the stream with woody debris. These actions permit flooding and water storage up stream from the Mill Pond in Tattenhall and thus reduce flood risk in the heart of the village. At the same time the scheme has provided significant new habitat for bird species such as snipe, reed and sedge warblers within the newly created wetland system.
In addition to the wildlife benefits, the newly created and extended reedbed, provides a natural filtration system for the water flowing down the Mill Brook and improves the water quality of the stream which still contains significant levels of nitrates which run off from surrounding farmland.
Andrew Hull, chair of TWiG, said that 'national recognition and praise of this scheme from the Environment Agency were very pleasing and clearly demonstrated ways in which small-scale, local projects such as this could generate impressive results for flood defence, biodiversity and water quality improvement'.