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Exciting excavation transforms Don

01 February 2011

Sheffield Forgemasters is leading a collective effort to restore the River Don to its former glory and help prevent repetition of the devastating floods of 2007.

A dedicated environment team at the Brightside Lane engineering specialist site is working to help improve the River Don and increase flood prevention, together with the Environment Agency, Sheffield City Council and businesses along the riverside stretch.

Since the programme was introduced earlier this year, debris including trees and vegetation has been removed from the river.

The clearance project was carefully timed and managed in order to minimise the impact on local wildlife, maintain the aquatic environment and improve the flow of the river through SFIL’s site.

Vicky Hinchcliffe, group environment manager at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “The joint project between Sheffield Forgemasters and the Environment Agency was a success, removing the debris that was taking up about 100m of the channel but work still needs to be done to ensure continual management of the river area.

“SFIL is committed to achieving and maintaining absolute environmental compliance, going above and beyond where there is a distinct business or environmental benefit.  In the long term, the project between us and the Environment Agency will hopefully help minimise the risk of more floods and also improve the flow of the river.

“The project was continually supported throughout by the group environment team, work rolls and health and safety to ensure it ran smoothly and had the minimum impact on SFIL’s business activities.”

Following the floods of 2007 that swept across Sheffield, the Environment Agency placed a £4m investment programme to carry out improvement works on waterways throughout the city.

SFIL has agreed to commit to the future maintenance of the stretch of river that runs through the site, by replanting more suitable, low lying vegetation to continue to support wildlife and carrying out on-going maintenance to prevent the debris building up again.

The long term vision is to be clearly seen as an industry leader in environmental governance. Environmental considerations are becoming increasingly integrated into management philosophy and systems, and effective environmental management is considered with high importance.