Site 6: Yarmouth
Final Project Outputs
- The Adaptation Plan was shown to the Community at a community drop-in event at the Yarmouth Harbour Office held on Thursday 13th March 2014. A flood marker designed for the project was also revealed.
- The Adapation Plan for Yarmouth has been published (Jan 2014). The public information leaflet about the Adaptation Plan can also be downloaded.
- The Project's final newsletter summaries the work undertaken for Coastal Change Yarmouth.
Introduction to the Project
The CCATCH team worked closely with the established Yarmouth Coastal Defence Working Group (YCDWG) on issues and solutions to the threat of flooding. In 2010, YCDWG produced a report entitled ‘Adapting to coastal flooding in the Yarmouth area in 21st century’. A summary leaflet of the report was distributed to 5,500 homes.
Issues to Address
- Forty one properties are at risk of flooding in a 1:1000 year event and this could rise to 300 in 100 years.
- Properties affected include pubs, shops, restaurants and houses, as well as public open spaces, Yarmouth Harbour and Wightlink ferries infrastructure, and Yarmouth Castle.
- Rising sea levels and storm surges in the coming century will make flooding more frequent and severe. The current Environment Agency Flood Zones completely encircle the town.
- Access to emergency services will be affected.
- The Isle of Wight Shoreline Management Plan’s policy is ‘Hold the Line’ for most of the town and the cost benefit is fairly good, however it is likely to be dependent on private contributions.
- The Western Yar estuary itself has a policy of ‘No Active Intervention’. Thorley Brook, which joins the Western Yar from the east, has a long term policy of ‘Managed Realignment’ followed by an approach of ‘No Active Intervention’.
- Options link any new flood prevention scheme with a replacement or upgrade of the harbour outer breakwater.
- The detail of any coastal defence scheme needs to be delivered within a coastal strategy; the West Wight Coastal Defence Strategy, started many years ago by the Isle of Wight Council, will recommence in 2014.
- Flood prevention equipment and flood resilience measures that could be implemented in domestic and commercial properties.
Community Liaison and Events
- In June 2013, a leaflet and letter was distributed to 65 properties in Yarmouth at risk of flooding.
- Interviews were held with community members and businesses in the floodplain.
- All were invited to a public drop in event at Yarmouth Town hall on 19th June 2013. It was attended by over 80 people and showed the work of the project, the Yarmouth Coastal Defence Working group and the Yarmouth Community Flood Plan.
- The drop-in day included a demonstration of property level flood protection measures from the National Flood Forum in their mobile van; it also showed a flood visualisation model projecting a flythrough of three flood scenarios on a continuous loop. The Yarmouth Drop-in Day Evaluation Report is available to download. (pdf file)
- A final drop-in event, held in March 2014 at Yarmouth Harbour Office, showcased the Adaptation Plan and unveiled a flood marker in the town.
The Flood Visualisation Model
A flood visualisation model was produced that shows the possible flooding that could occur under a range of scenarios: Scenario 1 shows Mean High Water Springs, and scenarios 2a and 2b replicate a similar level of flooding to that observed during the flood event of March 2008. Scenario 3 provides a model of what scenario 2 may look like if sea levels rise by 27cm by the mid century.
- The Coastal Change Yarmouth flythroughs are now available to view on the Forum's YouTube channel.
- The report that explains what the videos show is also available to download - Flood model explanation report, May 2013. (pdf file)
Yarmouth Primary School Learning all about Flooding
- A six week educational programme was designed in consultation with Yarmouth Primary School , for 7-9 year olds.
- The programme was designed to help the children understand what flood risks there are in Yarmouth and how we can respond to them.
- Sessions were designed around specialist issues related to flooding and experts were invited to talk to the children.
- The work of the school has been highly valued at a European level and it has won a CC2150 Best Practice Award for its innovation and effectiveness.
Yarmouth Primary School Sea Squeeze Project
Natural Enterprise and artist Ecclestone George, worked with 23 children (under 7 year olds) at Yarmouth Primary School and their teacher on an art project to encourage the children to think more about climate change and sea level rise. They produced 3d artwork which was placed in intertidal areas to demonstrate sea squeeze.
A report evaluating the work is available to download.
Website Resource and Historical Flood Marker
A legacy project website has been established which shows all of the work undertaken, including a link to the flood visualisation model. In March 2014 a flood marker will be installed to show where flooding has occurred in Yarmouth in the past, as well as possible future flood risk to the town.
The final output of the project is an Adaptation Plan for Yarmouth, which outlines some proposed solutions to achieve the community’s long term vision for the town in the short, mid and long terms.
- The Adapation Plan for Yarmouth was published in Jan 2014. The public information leaflet about the Adaptation Plan can also be downloaded.
Key Lessons Learnt
- It is important to form a Local Engagement Group at an early stage and identify the right stakeholders and tap into their existing work and knowledge.
- Planning is very important and adequate staff resources.
- Showing a flood visualisation model is a very effective way of demonstrating flood risk; you need to show both historical flooding and conservatively extrapolate for possible future flooding.
- Get out and talk to the community in any way you can. Using pop-up consultations in the town is effective.
- Working with primary school children is very rewarding and the six week educational programme on flood risk was seen as an exemplary piece of work.
Taking the project forward
A community Adaptation Plan has been produced which includes a vision and proposed actions for the short to long term. The Yarmouth Coastal Defence Working Group will lead on the actions of the Adaptation Plan. They meet regularly to discuss flood defence options and funding. The Yarmouth Harbour Master acts as the contact point for the group.