Stewart Mounsey EA Flood Risk Manager for Cumbria and Stuart Newby VBA in Kendal.jpg

VBA and the Environment Agency plant trees as part of £76m Kendal scheme

To celebrate the start of construction, VBA has planted two semi-mature hornbeam trees along the riverside, at the Kendal flood risk management scheme.

The new hornbeams will accompany other neighbouring established hornbeams and will mark the Environment Agency’s commitment to plant over 3,666 new trees across Kendal, to deliver riverside landscaping improvements and develop five hectares of environment and habitat enhancements, helping to create a diverse habitat for wildlife and improve access for the community.

Construction began on 15 February for phase one of the proposed three-phase Kendal Flood Risk Management scheme. Kendal is the first phase to be delivered, with Burneside, Staveley and Ings being the second. Once complete, the Kendal scheme will directly reduce flood risk to 170 homes and 227 business in the area, and once all three phases are complete, this would reduce the risk further, to a 1 in 100-year standard of protection.

Stewart Mounsey, for the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased to have completed the planting of two native Hornbeams in Kendal. The Hornbeams planted mark the start of our commitment to plant over 3600 new trees, to undertake riverside landscaping improvements and develop 55 hectares of environment and habitat enhancements, creating a diverse habitat for wildlife and improved access for the community.

“As a consequence of building a scheme in a riverside location, there will be losses to some of the riverside trees, but plans to replant a range of species, taking a ‘right tree, right place’ approach will create a habitat-rich river corridor through the town and improve access for the community.

“We understand there are sensitivities around the tree removal which will need to take place in areas throughout Kendal. No trees will be felled in the first areas of scheme construction and we will ensure that there is sufficient habitat in place for the bird and bat population in Kendal ahead of any felling, with 64 bird and bat boxes already installed as additional habitat.

“Throughout construction, the Environment Agency and our contractors, VolkerStevin, will work in line with all current government guidance to keep everyone safe and we are committed to keeping the local community informed of progress, by providing updates on the Flood Hub website.

“We are also continuing with our detailed design work for the other phases of the Kendal Flood Risk Management Scheme which, when complete, will reduce the risk of flooding to 1,480 homes and 1,100 local businesses across the catchment. Whilst we cannot prevent flooding altogether, the new flood risk management scheme will go a long way in providing flood protection to the residents and business of Kendal.”

“The Kendal scheme will bring a wide range of benefits to the local community, which go above and beyond the flood protection it will provide; the tree planting being just one of these benefits. We have taken into account the historic planting in the area along the riverside and ensured that the mature hornbeams planted are in keeping with this. The flood scheme will contribute to habitat and biodiversity improvements across the whole of the Kendal catchment.”

Richard Birchall VBA project manager