1. Home
  2. Environment
  3. Flooding
  4. The Blue Heart project

The Blue Heart project

Understanding water in Eastbourne and south Wealden

Blue Heart is a project that will provide an understanding of the local water catchment and how it works. It will communicate the risk of flooding to the communities of Eastbourne and south Wealden.

Over a six-year period from 2021, Blue Heart will mitigate the impact of flooding caused by climate change through technology to manage and monitor water levels in Eastbourne and south Wealden. 

Blue Heart will build a smart integrated water management system that gives warning of heavy rainfall, will calculate the most the optimum response and issue flood warnings and alerts where necessary. This technology will trigger watercourses, ponds and lakes to release water so they are ready to contain incoming storm water. Homes and businesses will benefit from better flood mitigation.

Project study area
Project study area

How does this impact me?

The climate is changing, and we will work together to create a landscape that benefits both nature and people. Eastbourne park is a ‘heart’ for the town, an important place for the local community and visitors. Its primary role is to mitigate flooding but many people enjoy these lakes for leisure activities such as running, fishing and sailing. 

We look forward to working with you and your community to celebrate Eastbourne park and the wider area with events and activities. These will build the communication and relationships between the many people who enjoy this vital public space. 

A future new website will provide crucial information about flood risk. The community will be invited to help deliver the technology.

Why do we need Blue Heart?

Flood risk in south Wealden and Eastbourne is complex. Different organisations manage the risk. These include the Environment Agency and local councils. This is all within a densely developed town and heavily engineered catchment area. The interactions between fluvial (from rivers), tidal, groundwater, the public sewer network and surface water cause concern because they are complicated. The understanding of these interactions needs to be developed.

Talk with us

We are eager to learn who is using and interacting with water within Eastbourne and southern Wealden and listen to everyone’s thoughts and feelings about flooding here in the community. This is key information which will improve our work. 

Contact by email is also welcome.

Contact us

Email: flood.strategy@eastsussex.gov.uk

The story behind the name

The lakes in Eastbourne park were created in 1995 to help mitigate against flooding in the community. Quickly the lakes became much-loved landmarks, affectionately known as the ‘Green Heart’ of the town. The name Blue Heart is a nod to this local history. But Blue Heart is a project which is building on that history, helping the communities of Eastbourne and southern Wealden to understand the risk of floods. We’re also communicating the vital work being done to alleviate the risk, including the introduction of new technology to increase the protection. As good health of the whole human body helps the heart, we’re looking at the whole system of water in the area - lakes, streams, rivers and more.

Who is leading this project?

East Sussex County Council has been successful as one of 25 project areas to secure funds under Defra’s £150 million innovation fund. With support from the University of Exeter, Blue Heart will be led by East Sussex County Council in partnership with

  • Environment Agency
  • Pevensey and Cuckmere Water Level Management Board
  • Eastbourne Borough Council
  • Wealden District Council
  • Southern Water

Blue Heart is working with Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne Coastal Management Scheme - GOV.UK, a 100 year project led by the Environment Agency. It focuses on coastal flood and erosion risk management project for Pevensey Bay to Eastbourne.