The Egremont Flood Control Scheme not only reduces the risk of flooding to the local community, but also improves the town by providing more green space for local use. Children from Orgill School took part in planting around 200 trees to increase biodiversity and improve access to green space. Among endangered and threatened species, single trees and shrubs take the biggest hit. Reconnecting woodland habitats and appropriate plantings is one simple way to increase the diversity and functionality of our countryside.

Planting trees also helps combat C02 emissions, making the air cleaner for people and wildlife. Among the trees planted are plum, apple, cherry, and cherry trees, all of which children will be able to pluck in the future. The Environment Agency has been working with the school to help them tackle anti-social behaviour. The planting of trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the school gate has reduced anti-social behavior around the school and the school would like to see more plantings continue to help reduce this behavior even further.

The Environment Agency plans to continue working with Orgill School soon to create small plots of vegetables and plants to get pupils more active and more aware of where their food comes from. In addition, the local angling club works with pupils at Orgill School to offer them the opportunity to take part in fishing.

Julie Irving, headteacher at Orgill School, said:

Our Kindergarten children had a great time planting fruit trees with Mike “Safari” and his crew. Children are so excited to watch the trees grow and can’t wait to start picking the fruit!

We are busy preparing for our next project and are excited to have Mike back to support. Our backyard garden has been in the works for several years and was put on hold due to the pandemic. We want our kids to be more involved in growing their own produce and have a place to enjoy it throughout the year.

A big thank you to everyone involved in supporting our projects this year.

Since planning approval for this vital flood control scheme was approved in October 2019, the Environment Agency has completed culvert work on Croadala Avenue and property protection measures have been put in place at 43 properties across the city. In addition, construction has been completed on flood shelters, consisting of flood walls and flood embankments, at West Lakes Academy, Falcon Club and How Bank Farm.

The Black Beck Canal was also completed as part of this scheme. The completed project created meanders and curves to rediscover the beck’s natural channel. Meanders and features in the stream, such as natural bottom material, provided important habitat for fish and insects. Other natural river features and floodplains have also been introduced to slow the flow at Black Beck. They help store more water during floods. This will help reduce the risk of flooding downstream by storing more flood water upstream.

Paul Robertshaw of the Environment Agency said:

We would like to thank the children from Orgill School for helping to plant trees in an attempt to increase biodiversity as part of the Egremont flood control programme. We look forward to the benefits this will bring to wildlife and the local community. We also hope to continue this work by developing a homestead where the children can grow their own produce.

The Skirting and Whangs Beck Flood Risk Management Scheme will not only better protect people and property from flooding, but will also create a better place for the community by providing an improved environment for wildlife to flourish. We are pleased to see progress on this scheme and look forward to the benefits that its completion will bring.

You can find out more about the scheme by visiting and check ‘Your area’ for a summary of what the scheme offers and general information on how to prepare and respond to all sources of flooding.

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