Ecus contributes to Rotherham’s town centre flood defence

Ecus has worked with engineers to design a flood barrier that complements the surrounding landscape and protects from urban flooding.

Ecus Communications Team
Written by:

Ecus Communications Team

October 22, 2021

Work has just started on a new multimillion pound canal barrier at Forge Island in Rotherham as part of the Rotherham Renaissance Flood Alleviation Scheme, after parts of the town were devastated by urban flooding in 2007 and 2019.

Since June 2007 Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has invested over £17m on flood defence schemes along the River Don corridor. The innovative flood defence scheme enables Forge Island to act as a buffer by retaining and dispersing the water in a controlled way rather than simply pushing the problem further downstream.

Ecus’s Landscape Architecture team worked closely with engineering consultancies Pell Frischmann and KGAL to design the flood barrier.  Our role was to ensure the barrier will integrate into the surrounding landscape and in particular, coordinate with the design with the Forge Island development.  The selection of materials, colour, planting and final shape of the barrier were all important elements of the design. Ecus also worked on the wider flood alleviation scheme advising on upstream defences, providing environmental scoping and reports, heritage, arboricultural, ecological and geo-environmental services.

"The new canal barrier is a vital part of the town centre’s flood defence system, and during the design process it became clear that it needed to not only function as a defence to prevent further flooding, but it must also look the part. Due to its large size it inevitably impacts on the visuals of the environment, so we were careful to choose a design that will link with the whole of the Forge Island development. Now Rotherham town centre will have a flood barrier that not only prevents further urban flooding and economic damage, but one that is a landscape feature in itself and visually complements the improvements being made."

Kristina McKie

Associate Director and Head of Landscape