Harburtonford Flooding Case study-GCSE

GCSE case study for Harburtonford

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Case Study: Flooding and flood management in Harbertonford
Where/when From as early as 1938-present.
Harbertonford is a village in South Devon, it is 4 km south of
Totnes and is located at the confluence of three watercourses,
the River Harbourne and the smaller Harberton and Yeolands
Streams. It lies in the valley of the Harbourne river which is a
tributary of the Dart. The river has a steep gradient and has
served a string of water mills.
Issue The village has been flooded 21 times in the past 60
years-including six times since 1998.
Human Geography Village is made up of 300 houses and has a main village hall
where events like painting happen regularly. It is a small
village of 353 inhabitants.
Problems Harbertonford suffers from frequent flooding as a result of the
3 watercourses. Since 1998 there have been 6 floods. When a
flood occurs peoples homes are affected as properties on the
floodplain are flooded. Roads are disrupted when a flood
happens due to roads surface water and debris. The Yeolands
Stream joins the Harbourne from the South and has a very
steep catchment of less than one square km, water levels rise
rapidly when it rains.
Management/Solutions A scheme was needed so that the frequency of flooding went
from once in every 3 years, to once every 25 years.
Provide a combination of flood defence measures that are
capable of providing environmental enhancement (people,
historic environment and nature) At the confluence of the
Harberton Stream and River Harbourne the village green was
enhanced by landscaping, improving access to the river and
the addition of new seating areas.
An upstream flood storage reservoir and flood defence works
through the village.(this would reduce the risk of flooding to a
minimum of once in 40 years)
Downstream from Harbertonford the riverbed was lowered so
the river could cope with higher discharges.
Culverts were widened and new flood walls were built around
properties in the village and the church yard.
Palmer Dam:
A local farmer (Ken Palmer) provided land for the flood storage
reservoir and dam on the outskirst of the village.
Provides a vital upstream storage area during times of heavy
Enables the Agency to monitor and control the amount of water
flowing down the River Harbourne into the village
The downstream face of the dam slopes gently to fit in with the
surrounding landscape
Located at the narrowest point in the steep river valley to link
existing woodlands
The dam is designed to shut when river flow reaches 40
cumecs this water will be stored and released more gradually
later to protect the village against flooding. This should
protect the village from all but the most severe floods and it is
hoped that the recurance inteval of floods will fall to one in 40
Opening through the dam has been engineered to allow the
movement of fish such as trout and salmon. The flood storage
area will form a new wetland habitat and is planted with
willow trees. It can hold 150,000 cubic metres of water in a
four hectare storage area. Trees help to screen the dam and
also form extra habitat and corridor for wildlife such as
doormice that inhabit the area.
Material for the dam was dug up from the area to reduce costs
and keep transport movement to a minimum
Charlotte Ryan 11S

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This altogether cost £2.6million and was funded by the
Environment Agency, DEFRA, South Hams District Council and
Harbertonford parish council.…read more


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