Lowdham Information Page

Closes 30 Apr 2023

Opened 1 Jul 2020



The village of Lowdham is currently the focus of two Environment Agency projects. One falls under recovery work from recent flood events and involves reinstatement of a flood embankment to its designed level. The other is referred to as a capital project and is focussed on flood storage options upstream of Lowdham. 

For general information, please see our Lowdham Flood Risk Information and FAQs.

Page last updated: 25th April 2022


Lowdham is a village to the East of Nottingham with a population of over 3000 people. Through the centre of Lowdham runs the Environment Agency managed section of the Cocker Beck that flows as a tributary of the much larger River Trent. The village has a history of flooding as a result of extreme rainfall events falling over the large catchment area of 12km2. Pinch points in the channel through the village can constrict the flow of water during high river levels which causes the river to spill out of bank causing fluvial (river) flooding of local infrastructure and surrounding properties. This fluvial flooding has previously combined with the surface water system being overwhelmed which adds to the amount of water in the system that increases flood risk.

The village green (football and cricket pitches) in the centre of the village are used as a flood storage area. This storage area that was constructed after a large flood event in 1999 can still be overwhelmed in extreme flood events. A brief summary of previous flood events in the village;

Feb 2020 – over 95 properties. Surface Water & Fluvial. Disruption to roads and transport links.

Nov 2019 – 12 properties flooded – Surface Water & Fluvial.

June 2019 – 2 properties flooded – Surface Water & Fluvial.

July 2013 – ~70 properties flooded – primarily Surface Water, some Fluvial.

Nov 2012 – Surface Water & Fluvial.

June 2007 – 150 properties flooded – largely fluvial

1999 – 300 properties affected – Fluvial. Disruption to roads and transport links.

A map showing the historic flooding locations through Lowdham from the Cocker Beck

Lowdham areas of interest (Aecom, 2016)

You can find details of our current maintenance programme by searching for Lowdham on our Asset Management website or downloading the Cocker Beck maintenance schedule. 


Recovery work - Flood Wall

The focus of our work on the Flood Wall is to reduce the likelihood of flooding by diverting flood water to the storage area (playing field). We have reinstated the Flood Wall to its designed flood protection level and will be lowering the level of the storage area to provide additional capacity. This work on the identified 200m section of embankment follows recent Cocker Beck flooding incidents. This work will complement the proposed capital scheme to create additional upstream storage. 

An aerial images showing the playing fields and flood wall, with current make up of defences labelled. 73 meters of raised ground or embankment, 22 meters of concrete sandbag, and 116 meters of sheet piles.

Drone image of the Lowdham Recovery works. Environment Agency 2022

This work will complement the proposed capital scheme to create additional upstream storage. 

Lowdham Recovery works. Environment Agency 2022.

The Flood Recovery Works are progressing well, with works on the damaged flood defence now complete and temporary works removed from the Cocker Beck. The focus has shifted to reinstatement, with the private gardens completed and works to reinstate the cricket pitch due to start in March, depending on weather.

The remaining reinstatement works to the football pitch and footpath are currently on hold while we are exploring additional works to reduce erosion risk in the channel along the same reach as the new flood wall and to undertake desilts downstream of the works though Lowdham. The programme for reinstatement currently runs from January 2022 to June 2022.



Contact details

For further information on the recovery work to the Flood Wall, please contact EMDenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk  

Lowdham Cocker Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS)

In recent years the village of Lowdham has seen repeated property flooding occurring in 1999, 2007,2012, 2013, 2019 and in 2020. The Cocker Beck is the source of fluvial flooding in the village, and is constrained by properties and infrastructure, offering limited space for defences and flood storage. A flood alleviation scheme was constructed in 2000 utilising the recreation ground in Lowdham but has proved ineffective in mitigating recent flooding.

Recreation ground storage during the February 2020 flooding. (Source unknown)

The proposed solution is an upstream storage reservoir on the Cocker Beck between the villages of Lowdham and Lambley. The solution is the most sustainable option, providing a 1% AEP Standard of Protection (SoP) to 195 properties in Lowdham. Once constructed the reservoir will be operated and maintained by the Environment Agency.

We are also undertaking capital maintenance of a flood alleviation wall in Lowdham, along a 215m stretch of the Cocker Beck. The work will reinstate the existing flood wall where the watercourse flows adjacent to the playing fields in Lowdham, between Main Street and Epperstone By-pass. These works are separate to the Lowdham Cocker Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme.




Lowdham Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) Biodiversity
Net Gain (BNG)

The Scheme is aiming to achieve a 20% Biodiversity Net Gain, introducing new habitat enhancements for ecology local to the site. The enactment of the Environment Act in November 2021 has set a minimum requirement of 10% which the scheme will have to achieved by law.

A combination of on-site and off-site measures will be used to reach the 20% BNG target, expanding existing woodland, creating new woodland on site, and enhancing existing habitat such as hedgerows.

We will also be treating Himalayan Balsam in the Cocker Beck catchment working in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council. Himalayan Balsam is an invasive species that can dominate the banks of watercourses. In recent years, Himalayan Balsam spread has accelerated throughout the Cocker Beck catchment and can be found at the proposed reservoir site.






Lowdham Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) Programme

The next gateway for the Lowdham FAS will be Gateway 3 - The Investment Decision. This is the final gateway ahead of construction start.

To pass Gateway 3, the scheme will need:

  • Necessary permissions, permits and licences secured
  • Completed detailed design
  • Set out management arrangements for the lifetime of the scheme
  • Assured and approved Full Business Case


Lowdham Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) Design

The Reservoir will remain dry throughout most of its operation, only filling with water when the Cocker Beck rises in certain flood conditions. The design will account for the effects of climate change throughout the lifetime of the proposed reservoir.

Due to the scale and position of the proposed flood storage reservoir, it will be classified as a Category A Reservoir under the Reservoirs Act, 1975. The Environment Agency will be the operator of the reservoir once constructed, to ensure it meets all statutory requirements and remains safe into the future. 


Above: Lowdham FAS flood storage reservoir location plan. Basemap © Crown Copyright 2022, Ordinance Survey 100024198.


Clay to construct the earth embankments for the reservoir will mostly be ‘won’ on site. This offers a significant reduction in both cost and carbon emissions during construction, as well as reducing the need for vehicular movements, which could potentially have been disruptive for the community. Excess soil excavated to create the storage area, will be used within the final landscaping on site.

Very careful consideration of the whole life carbon impact is being taken through the design process and planning for both the construction and operational phase of its lifetime. We are trialling low-carbon concrete, which we plan to use throughout the reservoir structures apparatus if suitable.




Lowdham Flood Alleviation Scheme key facts:

  • 195 homes better protected from flooding
  • 1% Annual Exceedance Probability Standard of Protection
  • 20% Biodiversity Net Gain target
  • Enabling works start – spring 2022
  • Main construction start – autumn 2022
  • Fully operational – spring 2024
  • The Lowdham Cocker Beck FAS is separate to the recovery work currently on site in the village, to reinstate the existing defences.

Partners we are working with:

  • Nottinghamshire County Council
  • Newark and Sherwood District Council
  • Trent Regional Flood and Coastal Committee
  • VIA East Midlands
  • Trent Rivers Trust
  • Severn Trent Water
  • Parish Council and Flood Action Group (FLAG)

Newark and sherwood district council logo      Nottinghamshire county council logo Trent RFCCLowdham flood action group logo

For further information on the Capital Scheme, please contact: EMDenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk   



We would appreciate if you could spare a few minutes to complete a short survey about this information page. 

Please contact us if you have any questions

You can find further information, or answers to any specific queries, by contacting EMDenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk


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