Flood resilience for communities in Smithton and Culloden

Flood resilience for communities in Smithton and Culloden

Flood protection scheme designed for the benefit of the local community and nature.

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A multi-phase project to reduce flood risk to 132 properties in Smithton and Culloden, while creating and enhancing natural habitats and providing multiple benefits to the local community.

Multi-phase project to reduce flood risk

Located on a hillside above the Moray Firth, the watercourses through Smithton and Culloden are steep, high energy and morphologically dynamic. The communities of Smithton and Culloden experienced rapid development starting in the 1960’s which has left a legacy of catchment and asset management challenges, and increased flood risk to a number of properties.

Solutions to reduce this flood risk were developed immediately after flood events in 2011. We worked with The Highland Council to help evolve the Smithton and Culloden Flood Protection Scheme through four distinct phases, from concept to completion:

Phase 1 - We developed a mix of complimentary soft and structural approaches, including the development of a new operations and maintenance manual with selected channel maintenance; informing local residents of actions being taken; removal of screens; and the implementation of flood warning monitors.

Phase 2 - We carried out a series of studies improving The Highland Council’s understanding of the catchments, and to guide the implementation of priority work.

Phase 3 – Focusing on interventions for sustainable sediment management, we developed options to restore sediment movement through the catchment by naturalising channels and removing structures. This helped reinitiate natural processes and reduced erosion and the maintenance burden to The Highland Council.

Phase 4 – We developed a flood protection scheme to protect 132 properties to a 1 in 200-year standard. The design included the formation of two flood storage reservoirs in the urban area and the removal of inefficient structures through restoration of watercourses.

Smithton park 2019
Culloden park 2022

Building resilience for local communities

As an early adopter of BIM and 3D modelling in 2012, we were able to use the engineering model to encourage better collaboration. Through this collaboration, we designed the scheme with the local community in mind to enhance existing features and provide new assets for the community. These included:

· New footpaths, pedestrian bridges, and cycleways linking communities’

· Improved sports facilities in both flood storage area parks, utilising material that would otherwise have been a waste

· Formal and informal natural play areas and dipping platforms, which will provide opportunities for active life-styles and education.

<strong>Building resilience for local communities</strong>
<strong>Building resilience for local communities</strong>

Supporting the natural environment

Natural enhancements within the project included:

· Creating new wetlands to enhance natural habitats in the catchment and improve natural water storage

· The use of green-blue infrastructure

·  Removing structures and naturalising channels to restore sediment movement through the catchment.

By collaborating with the local communities of Smithton and Culloden, we designed this scheme to maximise the benefits to the widest sections of the community and ensure an intelligent use of space, using green infrastructure and creating wetland habitats.
You can watch more about the project here.

Supporting the natural environment
Supporting the natural environment
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Want to know more?

Email Rene Dobson for more information about the Smithton and Culloden Flood Alleviation Scheme. Visit our webpage to find out more about Engineering services at JBA.

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