WORK STARTS THIS MONTH on a trial in East Yorkshire which could shape the way that the Environment Agency nationally manages the risk of flooding.

Burstwick Drain, which flows through Hedon, near Hull, is one of six locations around the country that will be part of an Environment Agency national trial into the maintenance of watercourses.

The study aims to show if watercourse maintenance, which ranges from dredging to cutting back vegetation, has any significant effect on reducing the risk of flooding.

Project manager Phil Walker said:

We have looked closely at the environment of Burstwick Drain and surveyed the shape of the river channel down to the type of rocks, the vegetation and the wildlife living along the banks. Although the drain has been dredged in the past, the impact has not been systematically monitored but this trial will help us to determine if there is a noticeable difference.”

The trial will cover two kilometres of the drain from Saltend to the eastern end of Hedon town. The work will be carried out from a boat within the river and is due to take around four weeks depending on the weather.

Environment Agency staff aim to start the trial in the next two to three weeks, and the first stage will be removing weeds, and cutting back grass and shrubs that have grown on the banks. In a few places silt eroded from the banks further up the drain has been deposited in mounds along the water edge and these will also be removed.

Burstwick Drain

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