Fluvial Design Guide - Chapter 5

Landscape and heritage

5.5 Examples of successful landscape works

Figures 5.6 to 5.13 give examples of successful landscape measures associated with fluvial construction projects.

Figure 5.6 Localised floodwall in a sensitive, rural village setting

This reinforced concrete floodwall has a different cladding treatment on its wet and dry sides.

The dry side (upper image) is visually prominent within the village and has been clad in local walling stone, with a recessed mortar joint to mimic the appearance of a dry-stone wall.

The wet side has full mortar joints to prevent sediment build-up and plant colonisation becoming a maintenance problem.

Black Brook flood alleviation scheme, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire

Figure 5.7 Localised floodwall in a sensitive, urban setting

Taking its lead from the building materials in the nearby conservation area, this wall relies on stone, brick colour and brick detailing to satisfy the requirements of local planning and conservation officers.

The wall has not been taken up to the full flood defence level to avoid adverse impact on views of the river. Instead the piers at regular intervals provide support for demountable defences (see Chapter 9), which are installed only in times of flood. The stainless steel handrail is a safety measure.

Hereford flood alleviation scheme

Figure 5.8 Town centre floodwall

In this case, the larger block size in the stone cladding reflects the scale of the wall, with two cladding materials being used to break up the vertical scale of the wall.

The choice of stone and brick type and their bond patterns reflect local building materials. The false piers have been added to divide the horizontal expanse of the wall into more visually pleasing segments.

 

 

Frankwell flood alleviation scheme, Shrewsbury

Figure 5.9 Earth embankment

Earth embankments are typically grass-seeded and left free of shrub and tree planting to avoid compromising their flood-proof core by roots or burrowing animals. This makes their actual form a critical landscape consideration.

Here a rounded embankment has been formed with side slopes of approximately 1 in 6. This requires more material to construct than a typical 1 in 3 trapezoidal embankment and increases the embankment footprint, leading to additional land take and costs. For the sake of visual amenity and minimising landscape impact, more expensive embankment forms are sometimes necessary, as in this example forming part of the Hereford flood alleviation scheme.

Figure 5.10 Weirs and sluices

Weirs attract people, as they are a dynamic and interesting element on a river. A balance has to be struck between public safety and access.

Weir work frequently combines heritage and landscape issues, as many weirs are associated with industrial heritage sites. In addition fish migration issues, maintenance access and recreational use for kayaking can all influence works at a weir.

All these elements need to be considered and brought together as a cohesive whole. A successful scheme, such as this weir at Darley Abbeys Mills, Nottingham, will appear to be designed as one entity rather than as a number of disparate elements.

Figure 5.11 Trash screens

Trash screens and other functional elements of a river are designed to operate successfully in extreme conditions. They are there to reduce the risk of flooding and need to be accessed and operated safely.

There is little opportunity to turn them into areas of beauty, but sensitive choice of location and the use of screening can reduce their visual presence. Ancillary features such as railings, control buildings and the like can be improved, as in this example in Salford, where railings have been painted black and a square bar section specified.

Figure 5.12 Locks, canals and navigations

These features are frequently high in heritage value and have conflicting requirements placed upon them.

They must allow safe public access, facilitate boat navigation, accommodate lock mechanisms, mooring facilities and boat servicing, while also take account of water supply considerations.

Close consultation with British Waterways (or the applicable navigation authority) is recommended to gain its advice and consent to any works.

 

Dutton locks, Weaver Navigation, Cheshire

Figure 5.13 Artwork

The provision of artwork associated with a fluvial project can fall within the remit of a landscape architect. The works can at times be difficult to procure in terms of their interface with major construction on site.

Artwork in the public realm must be robust, not compromise public or operational safety, and must be appealing to the wider public.

The commissioning of an artist, public approval of their proposals, procurement and installation of the artwork must all be considered in the wider project programme and allocated an adequate budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This panel mosaic was incorporated into the Hereford flood alleviation scheme.

 

 

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