The River Roding Project information page

Closes 31 Oct 2022

Opened 12 Sep 2018



Updated April 2021

Welcome to The River Roding Project Information Page

This page provides a summary of our work to reduce flooding to over 600 homes, businesses and infrastructure in the Woodford and Ilford areas (North East London), as well as how we plan to improve the River Roding for people and wildlife.

What is The River Roding Project?

The River Roding Project is a flood alleviation scheme that will reduce flooding to residential properties, commercial properties and infrastructure in the Woodford and Ilford areas.

The project includes building a flood storage area (FSA) on the River Roding, upstream of the M25, at Shonks Mill Bridge. The FSA includes building a long earth embankment and control structure on the river. This allows the river to flow naturally for the majority of the time, however in times of high flows, flood water will start to build up and be stored behind the earth embankment creating a temporary reservoir, reducing the flow and risk of flooding downstream. This will then drain naturally back in to the river Roding as the flood recedes.

The project also includes refurbishing two stretches of existing flood embankments downstream in Woodford,  to improve the standard protection of the defences to withstand the impacts projected by climate change.

Please note our proposals will reduce the risk of flooding and climate change, but will not eliminate the risk of flooding altogether.

Diagram above: Example diagram showing how the flood storage area will be used to control the flow. Flood water will be held upstream in the flood storage area while a controlled flow will be able pass through the structure, limiting the flow downstream.

Please note: To build the flood embankment, we will have to permanently divert the public footpath ‘Stanford Rivers 47’ around the earth embankment. See the current route on the map below. If you use this footpath or have any comments about how we will divert it please get in touch.

Drawing above: Draft drawing of the proposed scheme at land off Shonks Mill Bridge Road.

Please note that this drawing is a draft and is subject to change in the final plans.

Why are we doing these works?

There has been an increased frequency of flood events over the past 20 years. The most serious flood in recent decades occurred in October/November 2000. The Roding burst its banks at many locations in Essex and North East London. Over 400 homes in Woodford were flooded and Charlie Brown’s roundabout and local roads were closed for over a week There was additional disruption and flooding to communities in Loughton, Wanstead and Ilford, £445,000 was spent on emergency repairs to river defences across the Thames Catchment, as well as an estimated cost of £30,000 per home affected. Climate change data shows that the frequency and intensity of such events will increase over the coming years, so it is important we reduce the impact of flooding on the local area.

As well as the economic damage that occurs after a flood event, flooding also has an impact on people’s wellbeing. Flooding often causes financial stress, disruptions to daily life and can impact people’s mental health. As part of this project we aim to also improve the environment to   encourage the community to enjoy the environment and promote a healthier lifestyle to help improve local communities wellbeing.

Pictured above: Ariel photograph of the Roding flooding in December 2019, taken by a local resident


Pictured above: Photos taken during the floods in 2000.

Upcoming project activities

We will be carrying out archaeology works and detailed ground investigations from April 12th 2021 for approximately 4 weeks at the FSA site in Essex to inform the design of the embankment.

The River Roding Project is now in the detail design phase. We are working closely with our consultants Jacobs and BAM Nuttall and hope to be able to submit our planning application for the project in summer (2021).

Past project activities

During summer 2020, we completed ecological and topographic surveys to improve our understanding of the proposed flood storage area (FSA) site.

In September 2020, we presented at the London Borough of Redbridge External Scrutiny Committee. This was a great opportunity to update local councillors within the community at risk of flooding of our progress.

We look forward to continuing to engage with the benefitting communities of Woodford and Ilford downstream as well communities upstream in Brentwood and Epping Forest where the FSA will be located to increase awareness and knowledge of the project and the outcomes we wish to achieve.

Project Benefits

Improving the environment

Subject to full funding, we will be doing environmental improvements in the local community to create a healthier, less-polluted, and safe space for your local community to enjoy. Following this project we are aiming to leave the local environment with a 20% biodiversity net gain through re-naturalising and increasing biodiversity open space.

These enhancements, shown on the map below, include:

    • Creating a new off-road cycling route alongside the river between Snakes Lane East and Broadmead Church in Woodford (subject to funding).
    • Planting trees and adding closed board fencing alongside the riverside paths near the M11, the North Circular (A406) and near Charlie Brown’s roundabout.
    • Remove a weir and reconnect the backwater to improve the ecology and biodiversity.

Map above: Identification of the planned environmental enhancement downstream in Woodford

Are you Prepared for Flooding?


Our flood defences reduce the risk of flooding but we can never entirely eliminate the risk of flooding. So, as the winter weather gets wetter, we have put together a summary of flood advice to help you prepare to protect yourself, your loved ones and your home.

    • Find out if your property is at risk
    • Sign up to receive free flood warnings
    • Create a personal flood plan. Go to to find out how you can ‘Prepare, Act and Survive’.
    • Create a community flood plan to coordinate responses by helping you decide what practical action to take to support each other before, during and after a flood.
      Be aware and stay prepared
      For more background information on the project, please see the related documents at the bottom of this page.

If you would like any further detail about any of the above information please get in touch at

Find out about owning a watercourse here.

View our schedule of maintenance work on the River Roding here.


  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Local authorities
  • District and parish councils
  • Environmental bodies
  • Land owners
  • Water companies
  • Members of the public
  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Members of the public
  • Community groups
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • Local Risk Management Authorities
  • Members of the public
  • Town and parish councils


  • Flood management
  • Water quality
  • Habitats and wildlife