Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme – your questions answered

Last month we shared the exciting news that Earth Trust is working with the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS) team to ensure the long-term environmental benefits of the scheme. Between now and 31st May 2021, the team are keen to hear from you and answer any questions you might have about the scheme.

The scheme is being led by the Environment Agency together with a number of other partners. After looking at more than 100 different combinations of options, the team have come up with a plan to incorporate new wetlands and streams while alleviating flooding in Oxford. The scheme will reduce flood risk to all properties in Oxford currently at risk of flooding from the River Thames, as well as to the railway, Botley and Abingdon Roads, other local roads, utilities and services. As well as directly benefiting residents this will keep the city open for business in times of flood, helping protect Oxford’s thriving economy.

The scheme will also bring additional environmental improvements to the area, including creating new wetland which will link up existing wildlife sites. Wetland habitats support plants and animals adapted to living in a wet environment and are in decline across the country. Creating over 20 hectares of new wetland and around 16 hectares of floodplain meadow throughout the area will be a valuable benefit of the scheme. The new stream and gently sloping wetland and grazing pasture will blend into the existing landscape and work with the natural floodplain. The stream and lowered ground alongside it reduce flood risk by creating more space for floodwater away from built-up areas. At Earth Trust we will collaborating with the Environment Agency not only at how the scheme supports wildlife, but also how that translates into places where people and nature can come together, supporting human health and wellbeing too.

The new website has more information about the proposed plans, including new videos and artist’s impressions, and the team are inviting people to put forward their questions from 17th-31st May 2021. So, if there’s something you’d like to know, please take a look at the website for more details and to submit your questions via their Citizen space website.