Cumbria Crack

Environment Agency recovery work this week in Cumbria

Work underway to strengthen Botcherby Bridge, Carlisle.
Work underway to strengthen Botcherby Bridge, Carlisle.

[R]ecovery work in Cumbria following the December 2015 flooding is ongoing and the Environment Agency is providing a weekly update on repairs taking place across the county. This work is in addition to the frequent maintenance programme that the Environment Agency carries out.

This week’s work schedule includes:


Shotcrete work to strengthen Botcherby Bridge on the upstream side is due to be completed this week. Holes have been drilled into the upstream side to secure rods to hold a mesh cage for concrete to be sprayed onto.

Botcherby Bridge
Botcherby Bridge

This will strengthen the stonework of the structure. The team are able to take advantage of the dry weather to start work erecting scaffolding on the downstream side for strengthening work at same time – which means the project will be completed ahead of schedule (mid-September). This allows gravel removal to take place earlier under the bridge.

Work underway to strengthen Botcherby Bridge
Work underway to strengthen Botcherby Bridge

Environment Agency are undertaking training in incident management procedures in Carlisle for Site Controllers and Incident Support Officers as part of ongoing emergency planning.


Weather and river flow permitting, the final 2 days of gravel removal near Gota Bridge is ready to take place. Despite the dry weather, the water levels in

Bassenthwaite Lake are high, which is causing the River Derwent to remain high and fast flowing. This prevents work taking place for two reasons: 1. health and safety for the team and 2. the fast flow of the river means that the buckets of the diggers are unable to remove the gravel, as contents are washed out before they can be lifted out.


Following the completion of the gravel removal project on Tuesday last week, re-assessment has taken place at Towns Field and the decision has been made by the Environment Agency to take out a further 4000 tonnes which will take another 3 weeks, weather permitting. Gravel removal from this point is necessary due to the increased amounts being deposited on the river bed here due to two landslips and bank erosion higher up the catchment.


The works compound at Braithwaite will be completed this week ahead of staring gravel removal work and defence repairs. Work is due to take 3 months and the community stop-frame camera can be viewed via the parish council’s website:

Troutbeck Bridge:

Ongoing design work to repair and replace part of the culvert upstream of the A591.


For the next 2 months – repair work to the walls near the bridge at Holme Street continue.


Continuing the repair work to the wall and embankment and river clearance at Crooksbeck.


Continuing the building of the new flood wall.


Continuing to build 200 meters upstream of Abbey Road/Station Road bridge a temporary track along the river bed to create access for wall repair work up and down stream of the bridge on the left bank.


Continuing gravel removal from the river Kent and repairs to the river retaining walls.

Braystone (Egremont):

Blockstone repair works to embankment of River Ehen.

The Environment Agency respond to flooding, or the threat of flooding, caused by main rivers and the sea – and also work with partners, including local authorities on other types of flooding, such as non-main river, groundwater and surface water.

The Environment Agency constantly monitor the weather, rivers and coastal conditions. This information helps the Environment Agency to predict future flood risk.

The Environment Agency monitor, operate and maintain their flood defences. They work with communities at flood risk to raise their awareness of, be better prepared for flooding and help them work together to prepare flood plans.

If you live in a flood risk area, sign up for flood warnings by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 and for advice on making your home more resilient visit

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