Thursday, 6 February 2014

Blakeney Freshes: Ditching works to aid water flow

We are really pleased that whilst the Environment Agency diggers are at Blakeney following the clearance of the south sluice, they will be moving to the eastern end of Blakeney Freshes to carry out planned works.

The water within the Blakeney Freshes system comes from an offshoot of the River Glaven, through pipes under the main road at Cley and via a flap known locally as Bramble Flap.

Last year we worked closely with EA to put a plan of works together that would better allow a flow of water through the Freshes. Three key aspects involved clearing the offshoot of the Glaven, de-silting the Bramble Flap area, de-silting the main river line through the Freshes and trying to get the southern sluice operational again.

Prior to the tidal surge event, all but de-silting the main river line was due to be completed by the end of the financial year.

Following the success of the south sluice operation, diggers will be working to clear the off-shoot and de-silt Bramble Flap on Monday, and will take a couple of days to complete.

These works will aid the ability to tweak water levels with the site and aid the ongoing flushing of salt out of the system.

 The main sluice under the Cley-Blakeney road which 
can be adjusted to allow water to flow into the Freshes

We are in the process of collating data for the contractors employed by the Environment Agency who are undertaking the options appraisal for the three sites on the North Norfolk coast which have been badly affected.

This includes breeding bird reports, other wildlife records, winter Wetland Bird Counts, salinity measurements, the NNR management plan and visitor numbers for the area. We are also providing information on our ownership, tenanted or leased areas and  socio-economic activity.

Tomorrow we will be undertaking the weekly salinity measurements and surveying the birds present.

Victoria Egan
Countryside Manager

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