Students from MLA1 recently visited the newly completed Castle Irwell Flood Prevention Scheme. The visit led by ecologist and Landscape Architect James Richardson from Wardell Armstrong toured the site, examining the structure of the flood prevention basin, situated in a meander of the River Irwell.
The scheme is part of a series of measures to reduce flooding in lower Salford as well as introduce a number of wetland ecologies in to this densely urbanised area.
The scheme appears to be reasonably successful, creating new landforms with geometries that reflect the surrounding urban infrastructure, overlaid by wild flower meadows a community orchard and a hierarchy of accessible paths.
The various wetland conditions have attracted a wide range of ground nesting birds, but the popularity of the site with dog walkers is causing conflict in certain areas, due to a lack of privacy.
The operation of this site and its future roles in providing a number of potentially conflicting objectives will very much rely on sensitive management and a understanding that adequate funding is required to maintain a complex series of human and biological systems.