Agenda item

Witham Slea Blue Green Corridor Project Update

For the committee to note the update. An information only report.


The Head of Corporate Projects, Policy and Performance presented the report which had been requested from the last Committee meetings.


The report provided work that had occurred over summer 2022 and a timeline of planned works. There had been huge progress within the program and projects had gained publicity through events. Some elements of the project had enabled strong learning engagement and were working in collaboration with student portfolios within the construction and carpentry industry.


The in-channel projects had been undertaken and successfully completed at Wyndham Park, St Catherine’s Road and Queen Elizabeth Park within the District. Three further in-channel projects were scheduled for completion by November 2022, two in NKDC and one in SKDC.


The project continued to have strong partnership and stakeholder engagement. It was confirmed that reports were taken quarterly to board meetings, where the Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy was the Chairman.


A query was raised on whether a biodiversity baseline had been established for the project and what the anticipated increase in biodiversity would be from the actions taken.


The Regeneration Project Manager confirmed that works had been undertaken with Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts to establish the current biodiversity. Most baseline data could not be gathered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so a definitive percentage of biodiversity uplift could not be provided.


Prior to commencement of the in-channel works, MoRPH River Assessments had been undertaken which formed part of Biodiversity Net Gain matrices.


The matrices fall into three sections: terrestrial, linear and aquatic. Aquatic surveys had already been undertaken and would be repeated following the completion of the project to identify improvements to river habitats created during the program. Matrices provide a benchmark for the current state of the environment and a comparison to what it would be like in a natural form. It should be noted that in urban settings, rivers were unlikely to achieve their most natural state, so comparisons should be made on what is realistically achievable rather than what is system would be like and how it would behave without human impact and modification.


Concern was raised over the rare species of White Clawed Crayfish that are within the area of the Witham Slea Blue Green Corridor. It was queried as to whether the team were aware of the protected species and what was being done to prevent the species from possibly being illegally poached.


The Regeneration Project Manager highlighted that all undertaken works had been designed around the preservation and protection of the endangered species and to improve their habitat. The Council work closely with an ecological clerk of the works to ensure correct surveys are undertaken. The ecological clerk of the works is licensed by Natural England and the Environment Agency.


It was confirmed that the design of the works was completed in mind to increase the habitat for the species. Structures involved within the project were natural materials and had a non-intrusive installation approach and methodology.




For the committee to note the update.

Supporting documents: