Flood Control

Flooding of the Rother Valley has always been a feature of the area. Prior to opencasting such floods had occurred at irregular intervals in an uncontrolled manner which had meant that the area consisted of low grade agricultural land, a refuse tip and railway sidings.

regulator bridge, November 2000 floods

After opencasting the landform was created in such a way that the valley now forms an important part of the flood defences for the area. A series of spill ways and accurately positioned flood banks allow the park to be flooded in a regular, controlled way.

By raising a sluice gate in the regulator bridge at the centre of the park, flooding in the following sequence can be achieved:-

1 Flooding of the terraced bank of the River Rother

(estimated as a 1 in 10 year flood).

2 Flooding the terraces and the Meadowgate lake

(estimated as a 1 in 25 year flood).

3 Flooding the terraces, Meadowgate, and Nethermoor lakes

(estimated as a 1 in 50 year flood).

4 Flooding of the terraces, Meadowgate, Nethermoor and the main Rother Valley lakes.

(only in the event of a catastrophic, 1 in 100 year flood).

lakes map

When the water of the flood subsides the stored water (up to a million cubic metres) can then be released in a steady controlled manner by a series of flap gates and sluices.

This system was used for the first time at 3pm, Monday 6 November 2000 when the Environment Agency began raising the regulator bridge to alleviate flooding downstream. One hour later the water began spilling over into the nature reserve.

River Rother about to overflow, November 2000 floods

By 2am on Wednesday 8 November the river terraces, Meadowgate, Nethermoor lakes and football fields were all flooded, with the river peaking just 30 cm from the level to flood the main recreation lake. The levels then began to fall, dropping 3 meters by Friday 10 November, the park returning to its normal appearance.

Nature reserve begins to fill, November 2000 floods