Hartlepool bird reserve wins engineering award

ACCOLADE: Robert Stephenson Awards secretary Derek Smith (far left) and ICE President, Professor David Balmforth (fourth left) with the team behind the Saltern Wetlands.
ACCOLADE: Robert Stephenson Awards secretary Derek Smith (far left) and ICE President, Professor David Balmforth (fourth left) with the team behind the Saltern Wetlands.

A BIRD reserve in Hartlepool which was built as part of a strategy to protect homes and properties from flooding has received a regional award.

The creation of the Saltern Wetlands, on the Tees Estuary, Hartlepool, won the large projects category at the Robert Stephenson Awards.

Projects were highlighted by The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East, and the Hartlepool initiative took one of the top three awards.

The accolade for the Greatham-managed realignment was received by the Environment Agency, which created the reserve, along with consultant Halcrow HC2M Mill, contractor Balfour Beatty and site supervisors Arup.

The judges said: “It is an excellent project which was part of the Tees Tidal Flood Risk Management Strategy. The project provided compensation wetlands which enabled the construction of other coastal defence and protection schemes.

“The project took account of many specialist stakeholder organisations, including an archaeological watching brief uncovered Neolithic remains, which were presented in a public exhibition.

“As part of the Tees Tidal Flood Risk Management Strategy, the project was needed to allow the coastal defence and other flood alleviation works to proceed.

“The schemes that proceeded as a result of the development of this wetland area will secure the coast of Teesside, its people and its industry for many years.

“The local community and many technical and specialist stakeholders all worked on the project and over 200 people attended the opening.

“A competition to name the project resulted in the Saltern Wetlands, combining the historic reference to the brine wells with the new wetland landscape.”

The awards were presented by Professor David Balmforth, the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), at the ICE North East’s annual dinner.