Up to 15 trees may be felled in Museum Gardens as part of flood defence work

he site where the new defences will be near the Hospitium in Museum Gardens. Photograph: Environment Agency
12 Aug 2019 @ 8.20 am
| Environment

Major flood defence improvements to protect York will require significant upheaval in Museum Gardens.

As many as 15 trees may need to be felled or moved to make way for the work to increase the height of the embankment near to the River Ouse.

The defences will help protect 48 properties

From today (12 August) until Friday 6 September residents can find out more at an exhibition of the proposals in the Yorkshire Museum foyer.

Emily Collins, engagement officer with the Environment Agency, said:

  • We are really keen to find out what the people of York think of our proposals and how best to keep them informed about our future plans.

    During the busy summer months we are seeking feedback from residents and visitors to help inform our planning application.

The plans in figures

Card image cap

£45m Government funds to reduce the risk of flooding and increase the level of protection to 2,000 homes in York, alongside funding to upgrade the Foss Barrier.
£2.4m The cost of work between Scarborough and Lendal Bridges
2.5 metres The height of the grass embankment between the river and the Hospitium which was built following the flooding from the River Ouse in 1982. It is 130m long
0.3-0.6 metres How high the Environment Agency, working with City of York Council, is proposing to raise that flood embankment
48 The number of properties protected by the work between Scarborough and Lendal Bridges
15 The number of trees that may have to be moved or felled to facilitate the work

The flood defence embankment being constructed in the 1980s

New defences

A map of the defences
The current flood defence is a grass embankment between the river and the Hospitium which was built following the flooding from the River Ouse in 1982.

As part of the £45m flood defence upgrades in York, the Environment Agency is proposing to improve the flood defence in Museum Gardens.

Work between Scarborough and Lendal Bridges will also include:

  • raising the height of existing defences on Earlsborough Terrace by installing glass panels on top of the existing brick walls
  • replacing 12 existing flood gates with new ones
  • and raising the existing flood wall and gate on Marygate.

Construction work is planned to start in August 2021. The aim is to minimise the impact of the work on the Grade II listed Hospitium, which is regularly used for weddings and conference events.

Impact on Museum Gardens

Dates from the 14th century… the Hospitium. Photograph: YorkMix
Some trees will need to be removed as part of the work to allow the embankment to be increased in height and increase its footprint towards the Serpentine footpath and the river.

Working with the Yorkshire Museum Trust, the project team have identified an area along the existing embankment where changes to the landscaping will be made which could mean moving or felling up to 15 trees.

The Environment Agency say:

  • Every effort will be made by the team to limit the loss of trees in the final design of the scheme.

    The Environment Agency has a policy that for every tree lost, five will be planted.

    However, discussions are ongoing with the Yorkshire Museum Trust and City of York Council to confirm the landscaping plan – which could include a lower level of tree planting but will allow rare and mature trees to be reinstated within the gardens.

    Any vegetation clearance will be carried out in the winter of 2021 before the start of the bird breeding season.

The consultation

From Monday 12 August until Friday 6 September there will be an exhibition with information about the proposals for improving the flood defence in Museum Gardens in the foyer of the Yorkshire Museum

There will also be an information stand in the gardens and a chance to have a tour of the site, ask questions and discuss any concerns with staff between 11am and 2pm on Tuesday 20 August and Tuesday 3 September

Information about the proposals will also be on display in The Community Hub, Wellington Row, York YO1 6FZ on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10am – 4pm

For more information see the the York Flood Alleviation Scheme information page