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Summary of flood event 1 November 2006
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Archived news from 2006

For news from 2005 and before please use the links at the bottom of the page.

BESFlooding in the Broads, November 1st 2006

The morning of November 1st saw a surge 1.75m above the normal tide hit East Anglia. Flood warnings were issued the night before for Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk with severe weather warnings issued during the night as gale force winds forced a surge of water towards the East Anglian coast. Flood plans were being put into operation but by 2am the worst of the winds had dropped. At 4am the surge tide hit Yarmouth with levels reaching 2.52m OD.

By 7am inland defences on the Broads were being tested to their limit. The Broadland Flood Alleviation Project was contracted to build defences to the levels measured in 1995 (approximately 1 in 7 year event defences), current estimates suggest the surge was in the order of 1 in 20 year at Great Yarmouth and as it progressed through the system around 1 in 50 year event.

Shortly after 7am Site Agents were joined on site by representatives from the Environment Agency and local councils as well as Network Rail to survey the damage and to undertake emergency repairs. The surge led to river water overtopping in a number of areas but there were only two significant breaches, along Haddiscoe Cut and at the Suffolk Wildlife Trusts Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve. Brundall Riversdie, St. Olaves, Loddon boatyards and Reedham were also subject to flooding during this exceptional event.

Haddiscoe Cut saw the soon to be completed defences (a short section of crest piling was still required) breached. The floodbank protects the Norwich to Lowestoft railway and overtopping followed by breaching occurred as levels rose. Although the flood defences breach was small the Network Rail defences did not fair well, ballast and gravel was washed out from under the railway line and a 15 foot section of track was left suspended in mid-air. Luckily the line had been closed for maintenance work and was not scheduled to re-open until after the weekend. The combined work forces of Edmund Nuttall and Balfour Beatie worked over the weekend to complete repairs to both bank and track to allow it to be opened on time ready for Monday mornings opening.

Other sections of banks have been damaged mainly on the rear slopes due to overtopping pulling out clumps of soil and long grass. This has highlighted a need to increase grass cutting in the overtopping areas. Repairs to these areas are underway.

Initial post-surge analysis shows that overtopping has occurred in the areas designated for planned flooding. This has given significant confidences in the Broadland model but has highlighted the need for better education of our work via the website.


There has also been an impact on flora and fauna particularly fish that were unable to escape the rapid advance of saline water. Longer term the main concern will be the return of fen and dyke water back to its pre-surge quality and the re-population of plants, fish and water voles.

A summary of the 1st November 2006 flood event, and its effects of the works being undertaken by BESL is available for download. Click on the link in the brown box (on the left hand side of this screen) for a PDf version of the document.

Click here for more on the River Yare flooding
Click here for more on the River Waveney and Haddiscoe Cut flooding
Click here for more on the River Bure flooding

BESL exhibition at the Royal Norfolk Show in 2006

Broadland Environmental Services Limited returned to the Royal Norfolk Show this year with a display focused around invasive species. Over 100 visitors during the two day event read about the background of the project via display boards and learnt about the works from staff who cover all aspects of the process from consultation through design, construction to maintenance. There were competitions and visitors had the chance to meet Turkish crayfish and their claws!

Click here to read more about BESL at the Norfolk Show

Compartment 1

A planning application for the works was submitted to the Broads Authority (via Broadland District Council) on the 4th April 2006 and permission was granted on 23rd June 2006. This is for flood defence works at Upton Marshes on the right bank of the River Bure.

The works will be starting in August 2006 but will not be completed until 2007 as there are over 2km of new setback floodbanks to construct.

Click here for more information about Compartment 1

Compartment 22, phase 3

A planning application for the works was submitted to the Broads Authority (via Broadland District Council) and permission was granted on 21st July 2006. This is for flood defence works on the right bank of the River Yare, left bank of the River Waveney and the left bank of Haddiscoe Cut.

The works will be starting in August 2006 but will not be completed until 2007.



Click here to read more about Compartment 22 phase 3

Compartment 23 Short Dam Level

A planning application for the works was submitted to the Broads Authority (via South Norfolk District Council) on the 9th February 2006 and was granted on the 31st March 2006. This is for flood defence works at Burgh St Peter on the left bank of the River Waveney.



Click here for more information on Compartment 23 Short Dam level

Compartment 24 Aldey and Long Dam Level

A planning application for the works was submitted to the Broads Authority (via South Norfolk Council) on 24th January 2006 and was granted on the 31st March 2006. This is for flood defence works at Aldeby on the left bank of the River Waveney.

Click here for more information about Compartment 24

The BESL Waveney Valley Sponsored Walk for Leukaemia Research

Broadland Environmental Services Limited staff and friends walked from Oulton Broad to Geldeston along the Suffolk side of the Waveney Valley on Sunday February 26th in memory of our colleague Ben Suter who we lost to Leukaemia in 2005.

Ben was a keen (and fast!) walker and would no doubt have found the 20km distance we planned 'a walk in the park'. However, for some of us, it posed a bit more of a challenge!

Luckily the weather was on our side and a grey early morning soon brightened into a sunny, if cold, day. 8am saw 22 walkers, including Ben's mum Jenny and brother Anthony, leaving Oulton Broad station to start the walk. Ellie Geyelin provided back up support including a very welcome halfway stop at Ellie's Cafe where we enjoyed homemade flapjack and tea!

That kept us going through to Geldeston where the walk finished near to the Locks Inn. We stopped at the end of the walk to admire a bench which has recently been installed by the Locks Inn Bridge in memory of Ben. The bench was sourced from Surrey Wildlife Trust and is made from sustainably sourced oak. The solid construction of the bench means that it fits in well in its rural location and hopefully should last a long, long time.

All participants finished the walk and all thoughts of sore feet and aching legs were soon forgotten over a pub lunch and a pint! Thanks to Colin Smith the Manager for fitting us all in so helpfully.

Thanks are also due to Bens employer Halcrow who donated the bench and to Edmund Nuttall Ltd who installed the bench at no cost. Henry Simkins the Nuttall employee responsible for installing the bench and concrete base also took part in the walk.

All money raised from the walk have gone to the Leukaemia Research Fund to help others who may find themselves, or members of their family in a similar position to Ben.

Compartment 5

Compartment 5 recently saw the installation of some new piling improving conditions for the Broads pleasure craft users. Improved and extended moorings have been installed at How Hill and Ludham Staithe.

Click here for more information about navigation in the Broads

Haddiscoe Cut

Flood defence works along Haddiscoe Cut are now nearing completion. Remedial works will shortly start to repair areas of soft erosion protection on the Island side and to complete the filling of gabion baskets on the railway side. The Broads Authority will be dredging the Cut from May 2006.

Click here for more information about Haddiscoe Cut and the works undertaken

Timber archaeological remains found at Beccles

Whilst excavating a soke dyke as part of the flood defence works in Compartment 26, Beccles Town Marshes operatives uncovered some timber posts which subsequent analysis has revealed the remains date back to the Iron Age/Roman period.


Click here for more information about this archaeological find

Nature Walk from Reedham Ferry to Seven Mile House

August 15th 2006 saw Jeremy Halls, Environmental Scientist and BESL Environment Team Manager give a talk about flood defence construction and ecology with reference to the recently established section of flood defences from Reedham to Seven Mile House pump on the north bank of the River Yare. The talk formed part of the summer programme of events on the Broads run by the Broads Authority.

Click here to read more about the Reedham Nature Walk

Compartment 4, soke dyke

A planning application for works was submitted to the Broads Authority (via North Norfolk District Council) on 25th August 2006. This is for a replacement soke dyke in Compartment 4. The existing soke dyke is biologically rich and diverse and constitutes a feature of the European site, the Broads SAC (Special Area of Conservation). The new dyke is to be excavated and established before the existing dyke is filled in as part of the flood defence works proposed for this Compartment.

Permission for the construction of a the new dyke was granted in October 2006 with works due to be undertaken Winter 2006/2007.

Click here for more information about Compartment 4

Click here to go to Archived News from pre-2005

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