Award success for Stolford Flood Defence Scheme

A Team Van Oord flood protection project covering an area of outstanding natural beauty within the Severn Estuary has been awarded a prestigious national accolade.

The Stolford Flood Defence Scheme, completed in 2018, is being recognised through the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS)* National Site Awards.

The Stolfold scheme – carried out by Kier and Royal HaskoningDHV, working as part of Team Van Oord and on behalf of the Environment Agency – featured the innovative Hillblock block flood protection system.

The CCS National Site Awards recognise construction sites where exceptional standards of consideration are shown towards local neighbourhoods and the general public, the workforce and the environment.

Winning a National Site Award is an exceptional achievement only given to sites that have made the greatest contribution towards improving the image of construction. Only the top scoring registered sites are potentially eligible to win a Bronze, Silver or Gold award – and Team Van Oord will discover which award has been given to the Stolford scheme at a ceremony in London on 4 April.

Stolford: Dutch system in UK flood protection ‘first’
Existing flood protection for the village of Stolford – located within the Severn Estuary Ramsar site, Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) – comprised a shingle ridge on the beach that needed regular repair.

This was viewed as unsustainable by the Environment Agency over the longer term, so an innovative new approach was agreed which transferred the primary flood defence function to an existing earth bank further inland. However, the existing bank required building up to withstand one in 100-year storm conditions.

The scheme at Stolford featured the deployment of block revetments, as developed in the Netherlands, instead of the conventional rock revetment approach – to provide an affordable solution to a long-term problem.

Hillblock, as it is known, is an innovative revetment block that varies in size from 200 mm up to 700 mm.  

Due to the shape and configuration of the voids, when placed together there is a significant reduction in the impact of energy from waves and wave run-up of up to 30%, compared to other types of shore protection.

More traditional flood protection methods – such as rock revetment and wave recurve wall – were ruled out as they exceeded the challenging construction budget, which was set at £850k.

Importing large quantities of rock would also have been highly disruptive to residents who live along the only access to the site, which runs directly through the village.

*The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS)
CCS was founded in 1997 by the construction industry to improve its image. Construction sites, companies and suppliers voluntarily register with the Scheme and agree to abide by its Code of Considerate Practice which focuses on three main categories: the general public, the workforce and the environment.

7 February 2019