The tidal barrier in Hull
The tidal barrier in Hull.

‘Aqua greens’ and how Hull is tackling flood risk

Actions are in place to alleviate flood risk across Hull after unprecedented rainfall over the past three months.

It comes after September, October and November brought more than double the average rainfall in the city.

Hull has the second-highest number of properties at flood risk in the UK outside of London, with more than 95 per cent of the city defined as “high risk”.

And with that risk expected to increase due to climate change and rising sea levels, flood protection is at the forefront of Hull City Council’s agenda.

Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, communities and environment, said: “The levels of rainfall over the past few months have been relentless, but the flood alleviation schemes and aqua greens stored an estimated 450,000 cubic metres of water, that would have otherwise flooded residents’ homes.”

The local authority has installed “aqua greens” – versatile green spaces that slow the flow of surface water during heavy rainfall – across the city to relieve pressure on the drainage system and providing a holding area for excess water.

Gleneagles aqua green

Gleneagles aqua green held rainwater back from properties during the recent floods

They have been installed in areas including Barbara Robson Playing Fields, Bristol Road Flood Alleviation Scheme, Noddle Hill Green Squares/Kingfisher Close, Willerby Carr Culvert Daylighting, Howdale Road/Wimpey Fields, Lambwath Stream and the Gleneagles aqua green.

Flood alleviation schemes have been delivered in partnership with the Humber LEP and East Riding Council including the Willerby and Derringham, Cottingham and Orchard Park and Anlaby and East Ella flood alleviation schemes.

The Environment Agency has also made huge contributions to flood protection schemes, investing £63m to improve the standard of the River Hull defences.

The £30m Holderness Drain flood alleviation is planned and the Albert Dock Humber defences have already protected thousands of properties, with the £42m Humber Hull Frontages scheme due for completion in March 2021.

Yorkshire Water also invested £16m into their Branshlome pumping station, reducing the risk of flooding to 15,000 properties.

Haworth Pizzas in Cottingham Road, Hull.