It’s an official thumbs up for Horncastle flood defences

A section of the new flood defences which carry the Bain through the dam. Photo: Bob Wayne
A section of the new flood defences which carry the Bain through the dam. Photo: Bob Wayne

Horncastle’s new multi-million pound flood defences have received the thumbs up - from town councillors and History and Heritage Society members.

The two organisations visited the soon-to-be-completed defences in the village of Hemingby to the north of Hornastle.

The project - which could cost in the region of around £8.4million - already offers protection to flooding from the River Bain.

Society member Bob Wayne described the visit as ‘absolutely fascinating’ and praised officials from the Environment Agency for the tour.

The defences have been built on agricultural land near to the site of the old Hemingby Water Mill.

It was hoped the ambitious project - which involves several different agencies - would be fully operational by Christmas but work has been delayed by the weather and some interesting historic finds.

After a presentation by Paul Arnold, from the Environment Agency, and David Stopes, from contractors VBA, councillors and society members donned safety helmets, hi-vis clothing and rubber boots to be led out to inspect the massive earthworks.

The 800m long earth dam crosses the river valley creating a lagoon that will hold back excess water for long enough to prevent flooding in Horncastle - and communities further down the Bain.

The river now passes through a newly formed concrete culvert and is controlled by an automatic ‘Hydroslide’ gate that will hold back the flow - until a safe level is reached downstream.

The dam has been constructed using yellow clay from the actual site and topped by black sticky kimmeridge clay excavated from a deep borrow pit on site.

The sides of the dam have shallow slopes and are protected by wire mesh to discourage badgers from digging holes. The site will be landscaped as a lake and wetland area to help wildlife.