Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

York flood defences and Foss Barrier, online

  • Webinar
  • online
  • 12 May 2021
  • 11:00 - 12:15
York flood defences and Foss Barrier, online

About this event

Situated on low-lying land where the River Foss joins the River Ouse, the city of York has always been prone to flooding. In recent years, however, the onset of climate change along with changes in the way land is managed upstream have caused flood events to become more severe.

In December 2015 the wettest calendar month since records began was experienced and over 620 homes and many businesses in York were flooded.

Existing flood defences for York have been built over many years and no longer provide the level of protection needed to deal with increased volumes of water. Following the 2015 event, the government allocated an additional £45 million to the Environment Agency to better protect 2,000 homes from flooding, in addition to the £38 million investment made to refurbish and upgrade the Foss Barrier.

Within the city, work on flood walls, gates etc. is being undertaken in 18 flood ‘cells’ (individual catchments).

As well as hard defences within the city, the river catchment is being studied to find new ways to store water upstream and thus to lower peak flows through the city during flood events.

All of the mechanical and electrical equipment that operates the Foss Barrier gate is being replaced, upgraded and fully integrated with the rest of the Foss Barrier pumping station. The original eight pumps have been replaced by units of greater capacity, together with new back-up generators able to maintain operation during a mains supply power failure.

Sign up via the Book Now button aove, or email honorary secretary Hugh no later than 11.00 on Tuesday 11 May.


Ben Hughes

Ben is a Chartered Civil Engineer of over 20 years’ experience working for the Environment Agency in flood risk management. He has experience in delivering large projects, stakeholders management and project engagement. Ben is currently leading on the delivery of a £102m programme of work to reduce flood risk in York.

Mark Fuller

Mark has worked in the Environment Agency’s Flood Risk Management team for 25 years helping to deliver both capital and maintenance projects throughout the Yorkshire Area as well as being involved in an incident duty role in all of the major flooding incidents in that time. His role in the Foss Barrier improvement project is to represent the interests of the Senior User, working as a conduit between the project team and the various EA teams who will be operating and maintaining the station after handover.

Ian Saxelby

Ian is a Chartered Civil Engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the water industry, leading design teams, supervising construction and administering contracts. He is project manager for the Foss Barrier project working for the Programme and Capital Management Team. He has been involved in the project from the beginning in Jan 2016 and has taken the scheme through all aspects from the initial temporary works recovery phase to the current position close to completion.

Event venue

United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Joanne Topping

e: [email protected]