Ribble Estuary (Lancashire)
Improve Flood Protection
This Hesketh Out Marsh West was implemented in 2008 by the Environment Agency and the RSPB. This involved four separate breaches in the sea wall that were either 40 m or 80 m wide. As part of the preparatory work for scheme, a 15km network of creeks were excavated to, essentially reinstate historic creek system (most of which had been lost due to arable works). In total 11 saline lagoons were excavated field boundary ditches infilled.
This site is quite high in the tidal frame. Much of it is saltmarsh habitat that lies at or around the MHWS elevation and it lies behind a fronting expanse marsh that is at least 500m wide.
This project was implemented in a distinctive, phased, manner. Rather uniquely, the sea wall beaches were not all done at the same time which meant that, for a while, all the tidal energy was placed on the first (easternmost) breach. Then lagoon excavation and bunding work was at some point after the seawall breaching. These resulted in changes to the morphology of the site and the fronting channels before the site settled down.