Sea wall project to protect Hampshire from floods

Farlington Marshes. Picture: D Byne
Farlington Marshes. Picture: D Byne
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The Environment Agency is to restore a sea wall at Farlington Marshes to protect the county against flooding and restore the area.

The £127,000 project will repair the 450 meter wall which is damaged at places and has drainage issues.

Currently, if a large amount of sea water flows over the sea wall in a major storm, it could flow northwards through the A27 drain and underpass.

This could result in a number of properties in Farlington being flooded.

In order to reduce the risk of flooding, the Environment Agency will spend £250,000 on essential work, including the construction of an extra section of wall to the north of the underpass with boards to keep flood water out.

These boards will only be placed in this wall when a large storm is expected and will be removed once the risk of flooding has passed.

Fish-friendly flap valves are also being installed on the drain to stop the flow of sea water upstream, but fresh water will still be able to flow downstream.

Both of these structures will significantly reduce the amount of sea water flowing beyond the A27.

Mike O’Neill, operations manager for the Environment Agency, said: ‘I am very pleased that funding has been secured for this vital flood defence work and I would like to thank the community in advance for their understanding while construction is taking place.

‘With our climate changing and sea levels rising, the risks and the number of people affected are likely to increase.

‘We will never be able to stop flooding from happening altogether but we can significantly reduce the flood risk to the marshes through schemes such as this.’

Access to the footpath around Farlington Marshes is likely to be restricted from this month for eight weeks as work is carried out, and at times the path may even be closed.

Bob Chapman, Solent reserves officer for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: ‘The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is pleased that the works will give some greater security from flooding for the nature reserve and surrounding area.

‘We look forward to working closely with the Environment Agency to provide a sustainable future for the internationally important wildlife populations and the many visitors and local people who enjoy the Marshes.’

For more information about the project call the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 or send an e-mail to ssdenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk.