Discover more about an exciting river improvement programme in Peterborough
The Werrington Brook Improvements is a 5+ year programme looking at ways of holistically improving a sub-catchment of the River Welland. The area includes Marholm Brook, Brook Drain, Paston Brook, Werrington Brook and Cuckoo’s Hollow. The project involves physical works to the river, and community and business behaviour change work, tackling a wide range of pollutants at source.
Water body will benefit from the scheme
Believe the water environment affects well-being
What are we doing?
The project was launched following completion of a feasibility study in 2014 by Peterborough City Council and the Environment Agency. The study looked at potential ways that the water quality, biodiversity and amenity function of the water bodies could be improved for the benefit of all.
Between 2015 and 2020 the project aimed to re-shape and re-landscape five stretches of the Werrington and Marholm brooks. These are in the Dukesmead, Hastings Road, Arundel Road, Ullswater Avenue and Aubretia Avenue areas.
The project has been a big success, receiving awards and recognition from Werrington Neighbourhood Council, the Institution of Civil Engineers, Flood & Coast Awards and the British Construction Industry Awards as well as being shortlisted as a finalist in the National ‘Big Biodiversity Challenge’ Awards.
Final phase of works
The final phase of the project was to address the siltation issues at Cuckoo’s Hollow; it was this issue that had been the catalyst for the whole project. The public consultation on proposals at the Village Centre in November 2018 supported the following actions:
- Creation of a silt trap by Fulbridge Road Bridge to intercept silt before it reached the lake
- The application of a product called ‘Siltex’ to help the breakdown of silt already in the lake
- The installation of an eel pass on the weir that acts as a barrier to eel reaching new habitats upstream.
A level control sluice on the weir was considered but later rejected by the project board. Work started in March 2020 and completed in April/May 2020, although slightly delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
previous phases of works
The project completed works on Reach 3 in March 2016 (Arundel Road/Rockingham Grove) and Reach 4 in March 2017 (Ullswater Avenue). In February 2018 construction work started on Reach 5, the brook and its tributaries adjacent to Aubretia Avenue, and was completed in May 2018. This was the longest reach and most ambitious design undertaken in the project so far, and delivered 27 berms, seven riffles, nine pools and a surface water outfall treatment wetland, over 740m of brook. More details can be found here.
What did the works achieve?
The work involved putting new features into the brooks to improve the way they naturally function, restoring them to how nature intended, and to increase flood resilience. From changing the way the brook flows, to increasing the amount of oxygen in the water, the features help to clean the water, create new habitats, and provide a more pleasant space for all to enjoy.
how can you get involved?
We are looking to work with local people to improve the way the environment is maintained and managed to ensure long-term changes. For more information, please email [email protected].
Spot a pollution incident in the waterways? If you are aware of or suspect a pollution incident, please call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 807060.