Completion of the scheme in Salford, which includes 12 acres of wetland habitat and wildflower planting, marks World Wetlands Day.
A £10 million scheme to protect almost 2,000 homes and businesses from flooding, which includes more than 12 acres of urban wetland, has been completed.
The project in Salford, Greater Manchester, has created a flood storage basin that can hold more than 250 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Irwell, the Environment Agency said.
The 28 hectare (70 acre) flood basin within a meander loop of the Irwell will hold water in flood conditions to protect properties in Lower Kersal and Lower Broughton, which was affected by devastating flooding on Boxing Day 2015.
The scheme also aims to boost local wildlife populations by creating five hectares of high-quality urban wetland habitats, with its completion marking World Wetlands Day.
Wetlands can help slow the flow of water, reducing flood risk, filter water and capture carbon, as well as provide habitat for wildlife, the Environment Agency said.
The embankments around the site have also been planted with wildflowers to attract species such as ladybirds, moths, butterflies and bees.
Emma Howard Boyd, chairwoman of the Environment Agency, said: “The £10 million Salford flood scheme will reduce flood risk to almost 2,000 homes and businesses.
“In addition, we have created more than five hectares of urban wetland, bringing attractive landscapes for people and wildlife.
“People in the area can also enjoy a new footpath around the site and links to existing footpaths that now provide a green route to and from the centre of Manchester.”
Floods minister Therese Coffey said: “How fitting that on World Wetlands Day a new scheme in Salford is opening that will reduce flood risk to thousands of homes and businesses and deliver a lasting legacy for wildlife in this area with five hectares of new urban wetland habitat.
“I am pleased the Government has been able to support this scheme as part of the £39.5 million we are investing in Greater Manchester by 2021.”
Some £5 million of funding for the scheme came from Government grant-in-aid, £4.1 million came from a Government growth fund and the remaining £1.2 million came from Salford City Council.
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