Projects announced to protect local homes from flooding

Friday, 27 October, 2017

Special ‘leaky dams’ are being created in Parndon and Risden Woods to help tackle flooding issues for Harlow residents.

This is the second time leaky dams have been used to tackle flooding issues in Essex following a successful trial in Thaxted earlier this year.

The work in Harlow, which has started this week, will see Suffolk Punch heavy horses transporting and positioning woody debris across water channels to help slow down water flow during periods of heavy rainfall. The wood will be sustainably sourced from Parndon and Risden Woods. An earth bund will also be built on Kingsmoor Playing Field to help capture and store floodwater.

The project is being led by the Flood and Water Management team at Essex County Council, working in partnership with Harlow Council, Place Services, Jacobs and the Environment Agency.

You can find out more about the project at a special public information event on Thursday, 9 November between 4pm and 7pm at the Parndon Wood Nature Reserve Conservation Centre.

Other projects in the Harlow area include the creation of an earth bund in Nicholls Field to block surface water from flooding nearby homes. More information is available at a public information event at Purford Green School from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesday, 31 October.

Another project in the Freshwaters area will see a wall and raised kerbs constructed around Freshwater Primary Academy to help divert and capture surface water. A public engagement event to discuss this scheme is scheduled for Thursday, 2 November at Freshwaters Primary School between 3.30pm and 6.30pm.

Councillor Danny Purton, Harlow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, said:

"We are working together with Essex County Council and the Environment Agency on a number of projects to ensure residents’ homes and local open spaces are protected from flooding. "I am pleased to see that work has now started to carry out this essential work. I know that flooding is a concern for residents living in some areas and that the town’s open spaces are much-loved. Therefore it is important that as many people as possible attend local events to find out more about the work taking place which will both protect homes and the environment for years to come.”

Councillor Simon Walsh, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said:

"Leaky dams are a great way of reducing the environmental impact on ancient woodland by using local resources and horse power – literally. We currently have a number of projects planned across Harlow to help residents who live in areas susceptible to flooding. Our Flooding Team is working with local partners to ensure this work will be long-lasting and life-changing for local residents."

You can find out more about how to help your property from the risk of flooding by visiting