The Doncaster East Internal Drainage Board was formed in April 2012 by a Constitution Order under the Land Drainage Act 1991 (as amended) following amalgamation of the Ashfields & West Moor IDB, Armthorpe IDB, Finningley IDB, Corporation of the Level of Hatfield Chase IDB, Potteric Carr IDB, Tickhill IDB and Tween Bridge IDB. The Board’s purpose is to protect people and their property against river and surface water flooding through water level management within low lying areas predominately from the east of Doncaster towards the River Idle and River Torne which discharge into the River Trent.

The Doncaster East Internal Drainage Board covers an area of 22,390 hectares and maintains 290km of watercourse and 24 pumping stations.

Up to 70% of the Drainage District relies upon mechanical means of lifting water from the low-lying areas into the River Idle, River Torne, Diggin Dyke, Hatfield Waste Drain, North Engine Drain, Day Brook, Torne Soak Drain, and Snow Sewer with gravity discharge dependant on Main River catchment rainfall, topographic levels, and/or tidal influences.

Within the District there are a number of pumping stations lifting water from subsided ground, inherited from the National Coal Board coal mining operations, whose impact on drainage is now managed by the Coal Authority. Coal mining and land drainage have a long-standing tradition and relationship dating back to 1913 which continues with private mining companies, licensed by the Coal Authority, to this day.

Within the District is the lowland raised mire of Hatfield Moor with Thorne Moor to the north of it. Both moors are recognised internationally, and designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and National Nature Reserves (NNR) because of their lowland raised bog habitat, their Nightjar populations and a range of other important habitats and species. Known as the Thorne, Crowle, Goole and Hatfield Moors, they are the remnants of a vast area of moor bog and fen that once surrounded the head of the Humber estuary. Thorne and Hatfield Moors are the largest lowland ombrotrophic (cloud fed) raised mire in England.

The mire grew on the underlying low permeability clays following melt of the ice sheets about 12,000 years ago. At this time the UK became separated from the rest of Europe and our climate changed from that of continental land mass to that of maritime as we became an island, the weather became wetter, precipitation increased. Other SSSI sites within the District include Potteric Carr, Hatfield Chase Ditches, Misson Training Area, Haxey Grange Fen, Sandal Beat, Misson Line Bank and the River Idle Washlands.

The Doncaster East Internal Drainage Board works with other public bodies to provide a public service by continuing to manage water levels for the overall benefit of people, property, commerce, industry, agriculture and the aquatic environment within the defined Drainage District.