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Willow Park - Carlisle, Cumbria (Community resilience)


Many areas in Carlisle were flooded after Storm Desmond wreaked havoc in parts of the UK on the 5th and 6th of December 2015. Newground, on behalf of the Environment Agency, has been working with the residents of Willow Park and their property management company to assist in the development of a community flood scheme to better protect their properties and a community flood plan to ensure residents are as resilient as possible. This was made possible through the flood resilience grant from Carlisle City Council and the flood grant from Cumbria Community Foundation.

Willow Park is a site of 40 semi detached bungalows, for residents aged 55 and over. It is situated very close to the River Petril, and was affected by flooding from numerous sources including as a result of the River Pertil over topping flood defences at Melbourne Park. Most properties flooded to a depth of 1.35 Meters.

Take a look at the video case study of the Willow Park community flood scheme below!

  • The community flood scheme brought about a number of challenges that all needed to be addressed in order to secure funding.  Some of the challenges included:
  • Gaining agreement from all the residents for the scheme.
  • Ensuring the flood protection equipment was suitable and easy to deploy.
  • Securing enough funding for the large flood protection scheme / gaining permissions for the work.
  • Ensuring the residents had a community flood plan in place to install flood protection measures and adequately protect all residents.
Newground’s approach

Newground has been supporting the residents and working with the site’s free holder to enable the flood protection scheme to move forward. Newground has been instrumental in liaising with the free holder, Environment Agency and Local Authority and provided support for the joint funding application to Cumbria Community Foundation. In addition Newground attended a community meeting to discuss options for the flood defence scheme.

During the application process for the flood defence scheme Newground has provided support to residents, which included providing winter ready packs to all residents to ensure all residents are signed up to the Environment Agency’s Flood Warning Service and providing information on household flood planning to give some peace of mind to residents whilst the scheme was being put in place.

Newground has assisted the residents to formulate a community flood plan through holding several community meetings and drawing on various expertises within the group and ensuring that all residents feel more prepared for any future flood events. As some residents have health and mobility issues and require more support during a flood event, a comprehensive flood plan is vital for the scheme to be a success.

How we make a difference

The community flood scheme successfully applied for over £228,000 which was funded through the Carlisle City Council flood resilience grant and Cumbria Community Foundation and includes:

  • Partial rebuilding and extension of the perimeter wall
  • 1 X pedestrian flood gate
  • Non-return valves
  • External pumps for the site

A community flood plan has been developed and includes all 40 properties with all residents being involved in the plan.

100% of the occupied properties Willow Park are now signed up to receive Environment Agency flood warnings.



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"Thank you for all the help and advice you have given us and we are sure the rest of the Willow Park residents feel the same. Without all your help at the devastation we found ourselves in, we were grateful to know we had someone we could call anytime of the day. Even now, two years on, you are still willing to give us advice when we need it. Thank you all!"
Willow Park resident, Carlisle.
Willow Park