Thursday, 7 January 2016

Let it flow

One of our last jobs in 2015 was to improve the flow of Wynlass Beck at the point where,as recent events have shown, a bottle neck may occur...

 Wynlass Beck flows through St. Catherine's Estate on its way to Windermere, England's largest lake. The beck is fast flowing and even after moderately heavy rainfall it is contained by its banks, as seen in the above image.

Above St. Catherine's, Wynlass Beck flows through Low Hag Wood which is surrounded by a dry-stone boundary wall. Before it leaves the wood, the beck splits into two and flows under two bridges. Even after the usual heavy rainfall expected in the Lake District the culverts, set into the wall, are well able to cope with increasing water levels.....until recently!

The extraordinarily heavy rainfall in December increased the volume of water in Wynlass Beck to such an extent that it overwhelmed the culverts and then 'backed up' spilling over onto the access track to St. Catherine's, The Footprint and Gatelands.

This is an image of the damage to a small section of the track after the flood had subsided.

To combat such high volumes of water in the future , sections of wall were taken down by the two bridges and then rebuilt incorporating water gates or hecks. These will allow the beck to flow freely over the bridges should the need arise. The surplus stone will be recycled for use elsewhere.

One of the two hecks under construction.

The water heck for the lower of the two bridges...

...and for the upper bridge. Since these hecks were built they were put to the test within a week when yet again torrential rain swept through the area but this time the swollen beck was able to flow through and over the bridges.

And here is the proof! 

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