Supporting the Action for Silk Stream project

Action for Silk Stream - Silk Stream Park

At Metis, our environmental and civil engineering team often collaborate with organisations to assist them with improving natural environments in the most sustainable way possible.

As part of a 6-year programme, the Metis team have been helping Harrow and Barnet councils with their Action for Silk Stream project throughout the Silk Stream catchment.

If you’d like to learn more about how we’re helping to build exciting sustainable flood resilience schemes in Barnet and Harrow boroughs, just keep reading!

The challenge

Harrow and Barnet needed help putting together a Business Case to secure funding for flood and coastal resilience innovation projects from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

They wanted to use the grant towards the Action for Silk Stream project, which would “help tackle the effects of climate change by making space for water, reducing flooding, and improving water quality in the Silk Stream catchment for the benefit of communities and the environment.”

Barnet and Harrow councils decided to work with Metis, other stakeholders like Thames21, and the wider community to secure future funding and deliver the next stages of the project.

Their key goals were to:

  • Improve flood resilience
  • Enhance biodiversity
  • Improving water quality
  • Engage with communities
  • Create green spaces

The solution

Develop a business case

The Metis team helped Barnet and Harrow councils by assisting them in creating a business case for Defra with concept designs of the proposed schemes, hydraulic modelling, and project monitoring and evaluation work.

Define the location shortlist

In the first year, we focused on defining the catchment area to tackle with the Action for Silk Stream project to secure funding from Defra. We also worked to create a shortlist of suitable flood resilience schemes.

Design hydraulic modelling

Incorporating river modelling with land use and surface and foul water modelling, we also created a hydraulic model of Silk Stream catchment, which included multiple tributaries for the appraisal of the schemes

Engage the community

Another essential part of the solution for this project was to gain community buy-in. So, Action for Silk Stream held various community events, many of which were facilitated by Thames21.

At Metis, we conducted co-design workshops with the local community for Watling and Chandos park schemes. We presented the community with initial concept designs and got their feedback. We then incorporated their feedback into the designs where possible, so that the schemes would receive continued community support.

The results so far

Presented business case

Our innovative hydraulic modelling allowed us to see the tangible benefits of the proposed flood resilience schemes and the difference they will make in the Barnet and Harrow areas.

Secured approval

By the end of year one of this project, we partnered with London boroughs to successfully win approval for the business case, allowing us to create flood resilience schemes for the entire Silk Stream catchment area.

Prioritised two parks

We chose two parks to prioritise: Watling Park in Barnet and Chandos Park in Harrow, to create more water storage through ponds and wetlands, divert water courses, and enhance biodiversity and public amenities.

Engaged local communities

It was fantastic to gain community feedback, which will help our project run smoothly, keep local communities happy, and ensure the overall design is informed by those who will use it day-to-day.

Designs in progress

We’re currently in the design and build phase of the initial Action for Silk Stream schemes and will carry on with the rest of the projects as we go.

Stay tuned for year three updates!

Thanks to this Defra funding, we can improve flood resilience through various schemes along the Silk Stream catchment and create huge social, environmental, and economic benefits for local communities.

In just two years, we have made a lot of progress in helping Barnet and Harrow councils achieve their goals for the Action for Silk Stream project, and we can’t wait to see how much more progress we can make over the next four years.

Want to learn more about our work? Check out some other Metis case studies.

If you’re looking for an experienced, passionate, and innovative civil and environmental engineering team to partner with you on your next project, please get in touch with us today.

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