Plans to excavate new channel for River Ouse near Sheffield Park
Plans have been submitted to excavate a new channel for the River Ouse near the Bluebell Railway’s Sheffield Park Station.
If approved the channel will go across a flood plain, following the path of former river meanders.
It will be on two levels to accommodate both high and low flow.
The land is at Spring Farm between the River Ouse and the Bluebell Railway line and the owners are said to be “very supportive” of the project. They wish to manage the land as a nature haven.
According to documents before Wealden District Council the current channel would be blocked off by a river bund but be retained as a backwater to evolve naturally as additional wildlife habitat.
The plan has been submitted by the Environment Agency and is designed to improve flood defence by allowing water to spill naturally over the flood plain, more regularly and in smaller quantities than does the current straight channel.
It would also enhance the diversity of the river habitat by increasing the number and scope for ‘ecological niches’.
The project forms part of a programme of works led by the Environment Agency in partnership with the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust and the National Trust to deliver improvements on the River Ouse.
The River Ouse in this location is said, in the planning documents, to be failing to meet a “good” ecological target, due both to poor habitat and problems with migratory barriers.
This project aims to improve the river habitat in the area. Alongside other work in the Middle Ouse Restoration of Physical Habitats programme it will help to deliver Water Framework Directive targets in the Ouse.
(Added to site Tuesday, June 12th, 2012)