Crown Estate funds new flood defences for Sunk Island

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The Crown Estate has completed the construction of a £325,000 flood defence wall at Hawkins Point, Sunk Island to protect the area’s high grade agricultural land from flooding.

This follows a £450,000 investment last year which saw the tidal doors and drainage system on the island upgraded.

The latest investment in flood defences comes in the form of a rock sea wall spanning 40 metres and comprising of 1500 tonnes of rock armour.

The Crown Estate decided to make the improvement following severe tidal surges in December 2013 which caused damage along the Humber Banks. While the defences held, it was decided that they should be strengthened to ensure the protection of homes and farmland.

Work on the rock sea wall began in August and was completed last month. Originally a sand bank in the Humber Estuary, Sunk Island was reclaimed from the Humber over the last 300 years. Today, the Sunk Island Estate extends to 11,400 acres, comprising 34 agricultural lettings and 27 residential properties.

The Crown Estate’s Malcolm Burns, Portfolio Manager for the North of England, said: “We have invested in excess of £750,000 over the past three years to protect the Sunk Island Estate. This demonstrates our commitment to Sunk Island, its heritage, agriculture and our tenants who live there.”

Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart commented: “It’s vital that we invest in sea defences to protect valuable agricultural land from being ruined by an inundation of salt-water.

“Land in Welwick is still struggling with productivity after the encroachment of sea water during the storm surge in December last year; I welcome any investment to defend land and property from flood water, protecting lives and livelihoods.

“The Crown Estate should be commended for the work it’s undertaken to safeguard land, homes, businesses and community buildings on Sunk Island.”