North Lincolnshire Council has received praise for its work with the Alkborough Flats partnership, helping address the risk of flooding while preserving a spectacularly beautiful landscape.
The Alkborough working group recently presented a case study of the area to the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, which was created in 2006 through a partnership between the council, Associated British Ports, the Environment Agency and Natural England.
Tidal waters were allowed to flood a large part of the site, leading to the development of a species-rich habitat of reedbed, saltmarsh and wet grassland.
As well as protecting the biodiversity of the area, this also helped manage flood risk around the Humber estuary.
The working group reported that as well as saving money on flood defences elsewhere, the site also plays a key role in capturing and storing carbon and has become home to a vast range of wildlife, including bittern, avocet, lapwing and marsh harrier.
It is also a popular area among walkers and bird watchers.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Alkborough Flats is a stunning landscape-scale wildlife. It plays a key role helping to increase resilience to climate change to thousands of people and nationally important infrastructure.
“Alkborough was truly ahead of its time when it was conceived, looking to deliver multiple benefits, helping improve the area’s resilience to sea level rise, reducing flood risk, while delivering wonderful habitat and an asset for the local community.
“Projects like this require long term commitment and collaboration from both organisations and individuals. Communication with local communities affected by the project is essential to be able to develop and deliver plans and ensure a sustainable future.”
They added that Alkborough’s success will be used to help develop Humber 2100+, a long term strategy to manage flooding involving the Environment Agency, 12 local authorities and other partners.
You can read the case study in more detail on the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission website.