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New Cumnock Flood Protection Scheme, 2021


Rory McDonald

About the area

The area of the river Afton WBCEL are working within is located in the village of New Cumnock, where it joins with the River Nith. The river Afton is memorialised in Robert Burns’s poem Sweet Afton, leading the river to have a widely known status across the world. The river is home to many different species of birds, fish, and various mammals such as otters. During the development of the flood defence scheme many different measures were put in place to protect these animals such as fish rescues and installing otter fencing to prevent them from accessing the busy A76.


Our environmental strategy for this project was based around the needs of the environmental and ecological factors of the site. As there are major in water works taking place on this project, it was important to take the following procedures:

  • Fish rescue taken place in conjunction with fisheries trust
  • Regular client ECoW checks to ensure we are adhering to standards
  • Appropriate silt fencing installation to prevent silty run off
  • Otter fencing installed to prevent otters accessing the A76
  • Water monitoring to ensure no pollution enters the river Afton
  • Noise monitoring to ensure preconstruction levels are not exceeded and we are being considerate neighbours

By ensuring we take the correct procedures on site, we can reduce and minimise our impact on the local environment.

Context and significance

The work will prevent the village of New Cumnock from flooding and allow it to adapt to the risks associated with climate change. This will be a significant improvement for the residents of New Cumnock as it allows for peace of mind that their homes are safe and secure from flooding and allowing for better utilisation of greenspace as there will be fewer instances of flooding in and around the town on these areas. As we continue to change and adapt as a planet to the climate emergency, it is important that Wills Bros help and assist communities in their need to adapt to aspects of climate change.

New Cumnock Flood Protection Scheme
New Cumnock Flood Protection Scheme