Arla Dairy River Wall Repair

Client: Arla Dairies

Value: £250,000
Location: Settle, North Yorkshire
Contract Period: 15 weeks
Contract Type: Bespoke


Heavy rain and high river levels caused this river wall collapse in 2016. The wall forms part of the Arla Dairy boundary, protecting the dairy site from flooding from the very highest river levels.

Howard Civil Engineering were called upon to talk through a solution and proposed the use of precast 'L' shaped retaining wall sections (for speed) clad with locally sourced stone. The unaffected sections to the side of the failure were reinforced with soil nails.

The works were set for late summer 2017.

The works commenced in August 2017 but were hampered by heavy rain causing river levels to rise and fall by over 2m at times. In September of 2017, disaster struck when storms caused the river level to rise over 2m for a long period of time. The speed of the river caused deep scouring at the base of the wall and a further section of the wall collapsed. With more bad weather approaching it was decided to install a temporary bank reinforcement to protect the dairy site over the winter and return early next summer.

The long dry summer of 2018 enabled us to finally complete the work. The team kept going, overcoming the challenges of working within a river with volatile river level history and adapted working methods to meet the challenges.     


  • Design and construct solution
  • Approval of method statements by the EA to satisfy working within the river together with the salmon spawning season
  • Fish resuce plan prior to dam installlation and during dam pumping out
  • Working within a constrained area within working milk processing site
  • Diversion of power cables to rear of wall and protection of service trench to rear of wall
  • Installation of an EA approved temporary dam. Sand filled aggregate bags with a plastic lining
  • Reinforced concrete foundation
  • Precast L shaped retaining wall sections
  • Stone cladding to tie in with existing sections
  • Placement of boulders to base of wall to prevent further scouring

Praise from our stakeholders

'Howard Civil Engineering exceeded our expectations of cleanliness and health and safety on-site.'

            - John Caswell, PTD Manager, Arla Foods

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