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JBA uses distressed boulders in Runswick Bay flood scheme

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Yorkshire-based environmental consultancy JBA provided a range of environmental planning services for a coastal erosion scheme designed to reduce the risk of flooding and sea wall deterioration in Runswick Bay, Yorkshire. Innovative techniques were incorporated into the scheme’s design to improve its ecological impacts.

The preferred option chosen for the scheme was a 180m rock armour fillet of approximately 2.5m high. The project saw JBA’s coastal, maritime, river engineering and environmental management teams work together to develop a solution focused on coastal protection and ecological enhancement. The nature and size of the project meant it required an environmental impact assessment and environmental statement, prepared by JBA and submitted to the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The firm also prepared a marine licence which was submitted to the Marine Management Organisation.

Part of the project’s location is within a marine conservation zone and the preferred scheme needed to consider the environmental sensitivity of the location. JBA liaised with Scarborough Borough Council and Natural England to make the solution more ecologically enhancing.

Over 100 man-made rock pools were created with 20 additional pools generated through the considerate placing/orientation of armour. Distressing the new boulders included drilling rock pool features and cutting thin horizontal grooves and thicker, coarser grooves into the rock using an angle grinder. Over 130 groove sections have been cut out on the armour stones in total. A rough surface within the pools allows colonisation by intertidal organisms.

On completion of rock armour placement, existing natural rocks were placed against the toe rocks of the new structure to allow seeding of the new rock armour and to encourage fast colonisation of the new material.

This method of habitat creation is the largest of its type in the country and is based on innovative scientific trials undertaken in collaboration with Hull University.

This method of habitat creation is the largest of its type in the country and was based on scientific trials undertaken in collaboration with Hull University. The scheme now provides flood protection to over 100 properties.

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