December 2010

Due to the extreme weather it was not possible to present the Proposed Preferred Scheme to the Council Executive on 7th December 2010. This has delayed the formal approval by Scottish Borders Council of the Preferred Scheme. The Council will next meet on Tuesday 18th January 2011 and the presentation of the report is carried forward to that meeting.

The Project Team met for a final Project Manager's Meeting (Meeting No. 12) on the 16th December 2010. The main item on the agenda was to determine if there would be any delays to the programme resulting from the extreme weather and the delay in achieving formal approval of the Preferred Scheme. The consensus is that whilst there would be minor delays to a number of ongoing activities that there would be no delay to the main Project Programme.

The Ecology Surveys continued through December. This Survey is programmed for completion before 31st December 2010. It is currently on programme and on budget. The draft final report is over 300 pages long and still growing. The final survey is the Tree Survey and whilst this was slightly delayed on the ground due to the snow it is expected to be completed on time to feed into the main report.

The Project Team have commenced generating the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report. This will be issued to the Planning Officer once it is completed.

The Project Team have commenced developing the specification for the a number of surveys that will be required during the Outline Design Stage of the Project. In particular the Topographic Survey No. 2, the Ground Investigation Survey No. 2 and the Structural Survey No. 2. These will be the main project surveys and will survey along the line of the proposed flood protection measures.

The Project Team commenced the design of the SMLWG Newsletter.

Halcrow completed the SML Feasibility Study and submitted it to SBC for review. An agreed document was finalised and SBC instructed Halcrow to commence the work on the Feasibility Study immediately. This study will form the backbone of the SMLWG Meeting No. 2 in the Spring.

Conor Price attended the Selkirk Community Council Meeting on Monday 13th December 2010 to update the Councillors on the progress with the Scheme and in particular to brief them on the Proposed Preferred Scheme

November 2010

The Project Team continued drafting a Report for the Council Executive detailing the Proposed Preferred Scheme for Selkirk. This report summarises the Option Appraisal Report and the comments of the SBC Flood Advisory Group. The draft report was issued within the council to ensure a full consultation process. The report is programmed to be presented to the Council Executive on Tuesday 7th December 2010.

The Ecology Surveys were ongoing through November. In particular the Fish and Lamprey survey was concluded and preparations were made for the Tree and Hedgerow Survey. The Project Team commenced the process of writing up the final report.

A meeting with the Users of St. Mary's Loch was held in Tibbie Shiels by St. Mary's Loch on Tuesday 23rd November 2010. A full report of this meeting will be posted on the SML Option Page.

The Project Team undertook a Site Tour of the flood protection infrastructure on the Water of Leith and Braid Burn in Edinburgh. This site visit was arranged with Edinburgh Council and was an excellent opportunity for the team to identify any lessons learned in the delivery of this major scheme by Edinburgh Council. Conor Price and Steven Vint are most grateful to Edinburgh Council for their time. It was a very useful (school) day.

The Project Team met with the Scottish Government to discuss a number of issues relating to the Preferred Scheme. These issues were resolved and modifications have been made to the Preferred Scheme as required since. It is still the Scottish Government's understanding that the Selkirk FPS will be the first scheme submitted for approval under the new Flood Risk management (Scotland) Act 2009.

Halcrow were ongoing in developing the SML Feasibility Study as agreed at SMLWG Meeting No. 1.

October 2010

The Option Appraisal Process came to a close on Wednesday 13th October 2010 when Halcrow presented the Option Appraisal Process Final Report to the Project Board at a Special Board Meeting. The Board took over 3 hours to consider and discuss the various options before agreeing on a Proposed Preferred Scheme.

The Project Team presented the Proposed Preferred Scheme to the SBC Flood Advisory Group at the bi-monthly meeting in October 2010 for comment. The Proposed Scheme was enthusiastically endorsed by the Councillors.

The Project Team commenced drafting a Report for the Council Executive detailing the Proposed Preferred Scheme for Selkirk. This report summarises the Option Appraisal Report and the comments of the SBC Flood Advisory Group. The draft report was issued within the council to ensure a full consultation process. The report is programmed to be presented to the Council Executive on Tuesday 7th December 2010.

The Ecology Surveys were ongoing: in particular SML Otter and Macrophyte Survey; the Fish and Lamprey Survey; and the Invertebrates Survey.

Halcrow were ongoing in developing the SML Feasibility Study as agreed at SMLWG Meeting No. 1.

September 2010

The Project Team have completed the exercise to digitise the video footage obtained during the summer of the Ettrick Flooding from 1977. This video footage can now be viewed though this website. (click here)

The potential to manage St. Mary's Loch for flood protection is to be investigated by the St. Mary's Loch Working Group (SMLWG). The Project Team have created a new website page to provide you with information on this Working Group. This is currently under development and is located (click here). It is estimated the new page will be ready in October 2010.

The Report on the Public Exhibition No. 1 - A Review of the Options - is now available for downloading. (click here) All questionnaires, comments and issues identified by the public have been considered by the Project Team as part of the ongoing Option Appraisal Process. This Report catalogues these comments and the Project Team's consideration of them.

The Project Team has been provided with actual video footage of the 'Auld Stane Brig' in Selkirk collapsing during the flood event of October 1977. This extraordinary footage shot live from adjacent to the bridge shows the progressive collapse of the bridge under the stress of the raging flood waters in the Ettrick. The footage is currently being transferred to digital format and will be uploaded to this website during September 2010

August 2010

The Project Team are ongoing in assessing the questionnaires submitted by the public during the exhibition held in Victoria Hall in June 2010. The Team have begun to input these issue and their response to the issues into a report which will be completed in September 2010 and uploaded to the website. The Project Team are delighted with volume and quality of issues raised through these questionnaires and would like to express their thanks to everyone who took the time to fill one in.

Since the Public Exhibition in June 2010 the Project Team has been busily undertaking the Option Appraisal Process. This is the process through which the Consultant reviews the many options which may be taken forward. These options are reviewed from a technical, ecological, social, environmental, economical etc. perspective. The Option Appraisal Process will culminate in the identification of the most appropriate options. The combination of these then becomes the Preferred Scheme.

In August Conor Price and Steven Vint continued the project's extensive interaction with stakeholders. Stakeholders met during this period included: Buccleuch Estates, Philiphaugh Estates, Oregon Timber Limited, Bridgeheugh Dyeworks, Tweed Forum, The Murray's Cauld Proposed Hydro Scheme Project Designers, Sunderland Hall Estate, SEPA, Linglie Farm and various residents along Ettrickhaugh Road.

July 2010

'Troubled Waters - Recalling the Floods of '77' is a fantastic record of the last major flood from the Ettrick in Selkirk. Further information can be found here

The date for receipt of completed questionnaires passed on 9th July

June 2010

The focal point of the project to date took place on the 9th and 10th June when the public exhibition took place in the Victoria Halls. Details of the exhibition boards, the presentation and some of your feedback is shown here

The rest of the month has seen us collating your feedback, ensuring each item of feedback is considered in preparation of the options for flood protection. We will publish a report on the feedback and how it has been incorporated into our scheme options and subsequent design in due course.

May 2010

Further work has been undertaken on the development of options for the Ettrick and Yarrow Waters and Long Philip and Shaw Burns

A full review of the hydrology of the Yarrow catchment, including St Marys Loch and Megget Reservoir showed that the St Mary’s Loch storage proposal would have significant flood risk reduction benefits for the upper Yarrow Valley with the beneficial effect moderating with distance downstream of the Loch. The study shows that even a small benefit will be felt in Selkirk and Lindean which could make the difference between properties flooding and remaining dry.

Preparation for the Public Exhibition has been undertaken along with further consultation with the Forestry Commission and local landowners.

April 2010

Ground Investigation work has completed and has shown that the soils are very typical for the area, with sands, gravels, cobbles and boulders. This confirms our expectations and means our preliminary proposals are valid for taking forward

All computer modelling of the flood risk is virtually complete such that we now know where flood protection measures are required (please see interactive map for up to date flood maps for 1 in 200 year flood event)

Option Selection work has advanced significantly such that we are now looking to provide some or all of the following measures to provide flood protection for Selkirk:

Ettrick and Yarrow Waters

  • Adapting the outlet at St Mary's Loch to lower the loch level and provide flood storage to reduce the extent of flood protection walls and embankments in Selkirk
  • Providing a low wall or embankment along the Riverside
  • Providing low walls and embankments at Bannerfield
  • Providing low walls and embankments at Lindean (properties adjacent to Ettrick Bridge)
  • Long Philip Burn

  • Providing flood storage on the Long Philip Burn at the top pond and/or Manor Hill Plantation
  • Adaption or removal of the A708 Philphaugh bridge (across the Long Philip Burn) to convey greater flows
  • Adaption of the A707 Linglie Road bridge and junction with A708 (across the Long Philip Burn) to convey greater flows
  • Low height flood defence walls downstream of A707 Linglie Rd bridge at Philphaugh Farm cottages
  • Creation of a new restored river channel
  • Shaw Burn

  • Flood defence walls on the lower reaches of the Shaw Burn

  • A successful Environmental Working Group Meeting was held on 7th April to bring the main stakeholders such as SEPA, SNH and the Tweed Commission together to discuss the issues associated with providing the Scheme. As we are seeking to provide a sustainable and environmentally friendly scheme which works in harmony with natural processes to reduce and control flood risk, an early steer from these stakeholders is vital to ensure we achieve our goals.

    March 2010

    Ground Investigation works to determine the structural feasibility of potential flood risk reduction measures has commenced ... (more)

    Development of the computer flood modelling of the Yarrow and Ettrick Waters and Long Philip and Shaw Burns is well on the way to completion - please see the interactive map for our initial representation of the potential flooding in Selkirk from the Ettrick Water ... (more)

    Development of some of the options for protecting Selkirk and the surrounding areas from flooding is well underway, including:

  • Flood defence walls or embankments for Bannerfield, Riverside and Lindean
  • Flood storage on the Yarrow Water and Long Philip Burn
  • Improving the smoothness of flow on the Long Philip Burn
  • Flood bunds to prevent flood water from entering the Mill Lade and adjacent haugh land downstream of Murray's Cauld (on the Philphaugh side)

  • The project team have been undertaking lots of consultation with key organisations that may be affected by the Scheme, including Scottish Water, Selkirk Community Council and the Selkirk Common Riding Trust

    February 2010

    Completion of a visual inspection of all the structures and bridges which might be affected by the Scheme ... (more)

    January 2010

  • The topographic survey to inform the computer model was completed on 30th January 2010