Derby City Council in conjunction with Nottingham City Council has secured European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) for blue green infrastructure at 13 sites across Derby City and Nottingham City. Of the 13 sites, the four schemes based in Derby account for £620,000 of allocated ERDF.
These projects will endeavour to change urban spaces into open green habitat. The improvements will open up brooks, remove culverts, create new space for biodiversity, and create new rain gardens alongside a main road within the city.
The four ERDF projects within Derby are:
The projects will improve urban open spaces within and on the fringes of Derby and Nottingham as part of a longer-term programme to open up, restore and connect green/blue spaces across the two cities, enriching biodiversity including Local Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitats and species. This will support greater diversity and abundance of species, as well as facilitating access for people to be more connected to nature, making the two major urban centres of D2N2 more attractive places for businesses to thrive and citizens to live and work.
The project will enhance blue green infrastructure across the principal urban areas of D2N2 (Derby and Nottingham environs), and deliver biodiversity improvements along the strategic river corridors and environs. This includes the Cuttle Brook, Burley Brook, and Markeaton Brook in Derby and the River Trent and the River Leen, coupled with the Day Brook, and Tottle Brook in and around Nottingham. Work will involve wetland creation, wet grassland creation, woodland restoration and creation, river restoration, removing culverts, creating rain gardens, and new urban pathways.
The project, whilst fitting in with a number of strategies reflecting green/blue initiatives, will also fit in with the emerging high level Derby-Nottingham Metro Strategy. This was out for consultation in July 2016 and will be in place for the delivery of this project. The Derby-Nottingham Metro Strategy includes a wide range of measures including identifying green/blue actions. Whilst having a focus on the principal urban areas in D2N2 the Metro Strategy acknowledges that neither exist in a vacuum, and that other Local Authorities need to be involved. Thus, this project becomes the first joint project under this overarching strategy.
The aim of this integrated project is to deliver environmental enhancements along the river corridors, whilst delivering multiple related benefits including improving access, habitat creation, improving local flood risk and facilitating the regeneration of derelict land.
This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Grant in Aid (FCERMGiA) and Local Levy.
This scheme will open up part of the Burley Brook that presently flows through a pipe within Allestree Park and will see the creation of a new wetland. This will provide a new amenity for the local people in the Allestree area of Derby. It will create space for biodiversity, and help reduce the impact of flooding across a wider area, hence contributing to economic outputs saving the financial and social impacts of flooding.
This scheme, in line with the aims of the River Trent Catchment Flood Management Plan, involves the deculverting of a section of the Cuttle Brook to return it to a more natural state. It will involve opening up the culvert (pipe) in Caxton Street Park and formation of a new river channel as well as creating a wetland area which will boost biodiversity and habitat. The scheme will also create a large amount of flood attenuation storage which will enable the Caxon Street Recreation Ground and Sunnydale Park to hold excess flood water in wetlands and ponds within these areas, which will help to reduce flood risk downstream.
The scheme will create a new focal point for the local people within Caxton Street Recreation Ground and Sunnydale Park.
Wilmore Road is a highly trafficked road which is an important conduit to some of Derby's most prominent industrial and commercial property. The scheme will build upon green space alongside the road by creating a number of rain gardens hosting a variety of vegetation and species. These will gather surface water off the road and use nature to remove contaminants from the water. Thus biodiversity alongside Wilmore Road will increase and water will be disposed of in a way which reduces the input of pollutants and sediment straight to the Cuttle Brook, which is the present situation. In total the area of existing road receiving the benefits of the rain gardens will be up to one hectare. Work will be delivered by a specialist contractor.
The work in Markeaton Brook will improve the quality of the water by removing silt from the channel and providing a variety of habitat areas for existing species to thrive and new ones to emerge. Ecological surveys have indicated that the current state of the watercourse habitat is not conducive to supporting a valuable and diverse range of species, and the project will see the reinstatement of a more naturalised channel.
At the same time, efforts will be made to reduce the load of silt that enters the Markeaton Brook, addressing the siltation issue at its source. The scheme will support maintenance of the banks of the Markeaton Brook upstream of Derby - for example by providing cattle drinking points - which aims to reduce bank erosion which is a major source of silt. The implementation of measures to 'slow the flow' of Markeaton Brook and reduce flood risk is a priority of the Derbyshire Derwent Catchment Partnership – led by the Environment Agency. The Partnership aims to contribute to achieving the Water Framework Directive ecological status targets for the Markeaton Brook.