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News

South West Association of Drainage Authorities visit Severnside

South West Association of Drainage Authorities visit Severnside

On 8 May, members of the South West Association of Drainage Authorities (SWADA) were guided around the Severnside area of the project including Aust, Pilning and Severn Beach.

ADA is the membership organisation for drainage, water level and flood risk management authorities throughout the UK representing over 230 members nationally, including internal drainage boards, regional flood and coastal committees, local authorities, and national agencies, as well Associate Members who are contractors, consultants, and suppliers to the industry. The Lower Severn Internal Drainage Board hosted this South West ADA Branch Board meeting and took the opportunity to organise a tour of our new flood defences and wetlands.

Cllr Matthew Riddle, Vice-Chairman of SWADA, reflected after the tour:.

The ASEA project demonstrates the importance of strong partnership working to maximise opportunities to reduce flood risk and deliver multi-functional assets to enhance the landscape for communities around the ASEA"

For more information, head to the South West Association of Drainage Authorities website and the Lower Severn Internal Drainage Board website.

Categories
Innovation

Safeguarding success: St. Modwen Logistics and the ASEA Ecology Mitigation Flood Defence Project

Safeguarding success: St. Modwen Logistics and the ASEA Ecology Mitigation Flood Defence Project

One of the major businesses operating within the industrial and logistical hub of the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area (ASEA) is St. Modwen Logistics, a powerhouse in sustainable warehousing solutions.

St. Modwen Logistics is one of the UK’s most active developers of speculative logistics buildings. With a thirty-year heritage of developing complex sites, they currently own and manage a portfolio of more than 17 million sq. ft across the country.

For two decades, the company has been providing infrastructure and employment opportunities to the Avonmouth area. The latest phase of St. Modwen Park Access 18 was completed in May 2023, and a further 215,000 sq. ft of state-of-the-art warehouse space is to start on site through 2024.

We spoke to St. Modwen Logistics to find out how the flood defence project is helping future-proof their warehouses and thousands of local jobs for years to come.

Why Avonmouth Severnside?

St. Modwen Logistics’ decision to establish roots in the ASEA was strategic. As Carys Allen, Senior Development Manager, explains, “The ASEA is Bristol’s premium industrial and logistics hub and plays a key role in the St. Modwen Logistics portfolio.”

The area’s connectivity, in part thanks to its proximity to the M5 and M49 motorways, makes it an ideal location for logistics businesses seeking efficient transportation links. Furthermore, the availability of land presents ample possibilities for development, a fact that St. Modwen Logistics has capitalised on by delivering over 1 million sq. ft of modern warehousing space in the area since they began working here.

A commitment to sustainability

Central to St. Modwen Logistics’ ethos is the development of sustainable infrastructure. Their warehouses aren’t just buildings, they’re best-in-class and expertly designed to minimise environmental impact while maximising efficiency for their clients.

From small businesses to large e-commerce giants, St. Modwen Logistics tailors solutions to accommodate a diverse array of clients, ensuring that each tenant finds the perfect space to support their operations. 

Our customers make modern life possible, and we provide the perfect space they need to service their own customers in a timely fashion."

St. Modwen Park Access 18 Avonmouth

Looking to the future

St. Modwen Logistics employs approximately 175 individuals directly, yet their impact extends far beyond their immediate workforce. The Park employs thousands of people across the various businesses which occupy it, supporting a thriving local economy. As they increase the size of their portfolio nationally, their sites across the South West will play a key role in this, including at Avonmouth. However, amidst ambitions lies a crucial consideration: resilience. Enter the Avonmouth Severnside Ecology Mitigation and Flood Defence Project.

For St. Modwen Logistics, the flood defence project is a critical component of their development strategy. By protecting their infrastructure against flooding, they offer clients peace of mind, assuring them that their logistics operations are secure even in the face of a warming climate. Moreover, it’s a boon for the region, attracting new businesses and fostering economic growth.

Explaining the benefits of the flood defence project, Carys says, “Our customers can locate their business at our Access 18 site safe in the knowledge that precautions have been taken to protect their operations from the risk of flooding, and this comes with obvious economic benefits to the region, as well as ensuring a supply of jobs for residents.” She continues, “Thanks to this work, we can offer businesses peace of mind, which is helpful when trying to attract new companies to the area and encourage further growth.”

St. Modwen Logistics’ journey in the ASEA demonstrates the critical relationship between coastal infrastructure and regional prosperity. As they continue to expand their footprint, they do so with a keen eye on sustainability and resilience, ensuring that their legacy endures for generations to come.

Categories
Innovation

ASEA project shortlisted for Flood and Coast Excellence Award

ASEA project shortlisted for Flood and Coast Excellence Award

We are very excited to be shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Flood and Coast Excellence Awards 2024 as a finalist in the Climate Resilient Places category.

The award recognises major flood and coastal risk management projects that improve place-based resilience to flooding and coastal change in a changing climate.

The winners will be announced at the awards dinner at the Telford International Centre on 5 June 2024. Wish us luck!

Categories
Innovation

Bristol City Council cabinet members visit ASEA Flood Defence Project

Bristol City Council cabinet members visit ASEA Flood Defence Project

On Friday 15 March, we welcomed Bristol City Council cabinet members on a tour of the Bristol City

Council section of the ASEA project. They had the chance to see the progress we’ve made on installing flood defences at Avonmouth Docks and Lamplighter’s Marsh, and creating a new coastal wetland area at Hallen Marsh.

We were delighted to show Councillor Marley Bennett, Cabinet Member for Waste, Climate and Ecology and Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport and Ward Member for Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston, how habitats for a diverse range of wildlife species are securing the long-term future of one of the country’s most important environments for wading birds.

Now that most of the works to introduce the new flood defences have been delivered, the focus is now on continuing efforts to develop the Hallen Marsh wetland environment and hand the site over to the Council to manage. Future works here will focus on maintaining wetland habitat to give the birds the roosting and foraging habitat they need, particularly when the high tide has covered the mud flats where they feed.

Ursula Stevenson, project lead, said: “We’re delighted that local leaders visited the new wetlands we have created, which enhance our natural environment and provide wildlife with space to thrive in the Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area. It was fantastic that the councillors saw how many bird species are thriving at this new habitat, and they were excited to see how the wetlands develop over years to come.”
Councillor Marley Bennett said: “Through our ecological emergency work, we’re committed to enhancing our natural environment while also improving the environment for people to enjoy, so I’m delighted to see the new wetlands created at Hallen Marsh begin to flourish.”

 

Our ecological work across the ASEA project doesn’t stop there. Water voles were released into Hallen Marsh in 2023 to make the most of the ditches and vegetation that provide them with the perfect habitat to thrive. The project has also provided a replacement otter holt to allow otters to continue to use an established commuting route. Over one hundred bat boxes are being installed across the project area, along with two barn owl nest boxes. One of these barn owl boxes has already been used to successfully raise three chicks.

This project is an example of how a balance between managing the impacts of climate change, sustainable growth and making space for nature can benefit all.

It was fantastic that the councillors saw how many bird species are thriving at this new habitat"

Councillors visit the new wetlands at Hallen Marsh
Councillors visit the defences built at Lamplighter’s Marsh
Categories
Innovation

Walking at the Northwick Warth waterbird refuge

Mike French

We’re welcoming walkers and birdwatchers back to Northwick Warth between Cake Pill and New Passage over the winter whilst works in the area are reduced.

The waterbird refuge at this location provides a haven for a range of species of ducks, geese, swans, and wading birds such as dunlin and curlew. The Severn Estuary is particularly valuable because it attracts many wintering and passage water birds thanks to a large amount of easily available food, like worms and molluscs. These visiting birds also come here because they need regular access to a network of secure and undisturbed roosts and feeding places. 

That’s why we’re asking walkers at Northwick Warth to do their bit to minimise disturbance to birds when they visit, by only using our specially designed mid-level path along the King Charles III England Coast Path. The public are not permitted to use the higher-level maintenance track on the crest of the bank. 

Natural England has recently installed signs along this area of the ASEA project to remind walkers to use the mid-level path, which has been designed to give them views of the estuary and help hide them from birds which make the salt marsh their home. 

Walkers who use the maintenance path along the top of the route will cause more disturbance to these important bird species which are critical to supporting the continued biodiversity of the estuary. 

We hope that all visitors enjoy the fantastic array of wildlife in the area over the coming months. 

Please be aware that the path may be closed again this year to allow the construction of a v-ditch along the route when weather conditions allow it, and the section near Pilning Wetlands may also have to be closed when we complete works in this area.

Waling in Northick Warth
Map showing location of the Northwick Warth waterbird refuge
Map showing location of the Northwick Warth waterbird refuge
Signage for users of the path at the Northwick Warth waterbird refuge
Signage for users of the path at the Northwick Warth waterbird refuge
Birdwatchers using the specially designed mid-level path at Pilning
Birdwatchers using the specially designed mid-level path at Pilning
Categories
Innovation

ASEA project welcomes local planning group for special site visit

ASEA project welcomes local planning group for special site visit

Last month the ASEA project team hosted a site tour for The Avonmouth Planning Group, as part of the team’s ambition to involve the local community. Once complete, the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area Ecology Mitigation and Flood Defence Project (ASEA) will deliver 17km of flood defences from Aust in South Gloucestershire to Shirehampton in Bristol.

The team took the group on a minibus tour of the site, stopping to see the progress of the work and its benefits in the area.

The tour took visited the Bristol Port, along the River Avon Road, to see the precast flood defence wall and sheet piled flood defence wall, the flood defence at Severn Beach and outfall structure at Cake Pill. More information on the flood defences being constructed can be found here.

Tony Bajjada, ASEA Public Liaison Officer and Stakeholder Manager from contractors BMMJV, said: “Hosting the Avonmouth Planning Group at our site was a fantastic chance to show them how work here has progressed. Our work aims to protect the local community from risk of flooding and we really value actively engaging with local communities to share our work milestones and achievements.”

Christine Chard, Avonmouth Planning Group member, said: “We want to say thank you to everyone involved in our tour of the flood defence work, which was very informative and showed the extent of work both visible and invisible that is involved.”

The day was a great success and the team would like to thank to thank the Avonmouth Planning Group for attending, as well as the Bristol Port for their involvement, cooperation and help in coordinating the visit.

Categories
News

Aust Wharf Drone Footage

Mike French

Watch drone footage from late summer 2022 of the area at Aust Wharf Road to see the significant progress that has been made.

Categories
Innovation News

Innovation: Precast Flood Defence Units

Innovation: Precast Flood Defence Units

18 October 2021. We are using precast concrete units to form the new flood barriers in several areas, including around Severn Beach. Thames Valley Construction produces and builds these units off-site in Newport, Wales. They are then transported directly to site and lowered into position. 

This method minimizes disruption for local residents and the environment, compared with pouring the concrete directly on site. Its benefits include:  

  • Quicker construction, all pre-cast were constructed on site and were ready ahead of the programmed installation date. On average we can install 26 pre-cast units per day. This is a significant time saving compared with cast in-situ where we would have only been able to install 8 to 10 units a week.
  • Long and variable alignment: 374 identical pre-cast units were installed (south of Severn Beach,) each 2.3m in length with only 3 in situ stiches required over the entire length of 860.2m
  • Fewer staff needed on-site
  • Safer
  • Reduction in traffic movements to and from site
  • Less noise and ground vibration.
  • A higher standard of quality control, in particular the surface finish of the pre-cast units.

We expect to install a total of around two kilometres of precast concrete units by the time we complete the works.

Categories
News Why ASEA

Leader of South Gloucestershire Council: Why flood defences are so vital for our local communities

Leader of South Gloucestershire Council: Why flood defences are so vital for our local communities

18 October 2021. Councillor Toby Savage, South Gloucestershire Council Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Climate Change, looks at the impact of flooding on local communities and the vital flood defence work being carried out to protect them.

According to the Association of British Insurers, flooding is the greatest natural disaster risk in the UK, with an estimated one in six properties in England and Wales now at risk of flooding. On top of that, Met Office data shows six of the ten wettest years on record have occurred since 1998.

Flooding can cause widespread disruption and have a devastating impact on people’s lives, their homes and businesses. There are few places more suited to considering the impact of climate change on real communities and businesses because of rising sea levels than the Severn Estuary.

The work being carried out as part of the Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area (ASEA) Ecological Mitigation and Flood Defence project means thousands of homes and businesses in the area will be better protected. The project will provide 17km of improved flood defences, reducing flood risk to around 2,500 homes and businesses. The defences will supplement existing flood barriers and help protect the area from the increased risk of flooding from climate change and rising sea levels.

A recent report, by The Association of British Insurers and Flood Re (Flood Re are a joint initiative between the Government and insurers), reported that river flood defences provide protection to flood risk communities valued at savings of £568 million a year. The research suggests that without defences, losses could amount to approximately £958 million a year, whereas with defences that figure reduces to £388 million a year.

The newly constructed flood defences, stretching between Aust in South Gloucestershire and Lamplighter’s Marsh in Bristol, will help encourage businesses to invest in the area and are expected to unlock 12,000 new jobs by 2026. This will deliver a significant boost for our regional and national economy.

A key milestone achieved this summer was the installation of precast concrete flood defence wall units in the Severn Beach area. To the north of Severn Beach, this is largely complete. Together with the work south of Severn Beach, approximately a kilometre of flood defence wall has been put in place. The walls consist of 428 units, all of which were precast offsite, meaning they were put in quickly and with the minimum of disruption to the local community.

Once the whole ASEA project is completed in 2026/2027, thousands of homes and businesses in our area will be better protected against the risk of flooding. I look forward to seeing the project continue to progress over the next few years, reducing the flood risk posed by climate change and rising sea levels.

Categories
Innovation

Chestle Pill Outfall Design

Chestle Pill Outfall Design

There are a number of existing outfalls throughout the ASEA project area. We need to raise the height of the outfalls, in-line with the new flood defences. In many cases, in order to support the increased height, we need to widen the outfalls, to support the extra load.

At Chestle Pill Outfall, the existing outfall structure would not have supported the additional load from the increased height. To overcome this, we looked at ways of reducing the weight of the existing earth over the outfall. We identified the best way to do this was to replace some of the existing earth over the structure with lightweight high strength modular cells. This network of cells has a 95% void ratio – being much lighter in weight than the ground they will replace but still robust enough to support the same load. It is also recyclable at the end of its service life.