Case study:Babingley River at Hillington

Jump to: navigation, search
(0 votes)

To discuss or comment on this case study, please use the discussion page.

Location: 52° 48' 26", 0° 33' 43"
Edit location
Loading map...
Left click to look around in the map, and use the wheel of your mouse to zoom in and out.

Project overview

Edit project overview
Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Fisheries
Country England
Main contact forename Andy
Main contact surname Sadler
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Environment Agency
Contact organisation web site http://
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Babingley River at Hillington

Project summary

Edit project overview to modify the project summary.

The Babingley River rises from chalk springs above the villages of Flitcham and Hillington in North West Norfolk. The Hillington site is located close to the source and includes an impounded online lake known as the ‘Broadwater’. The aim of the project was to revert 420m of lake back to river in order to improve the water quality, remove barriers to fish and eel passage and provide additional spawning habitat for wild brown trout (Salmo trutta). Sluice boards (1.15m high) at the downstream extent of the site were removed resulting in the lowering of the water level. This concentrated the flow and enabled the river to cut a new channel that would be more sustainable in the long term. Deflectors were installed in the downstream extent of the reach (where gradient and flow velocities were less) to concentrate flow further and enable the river to continue cutting a channel into the newly exposed silt. Improvements in water quality as a result of the work created better habitat and spawning grounds and the removal of the sluice boards allowed free passage for fish to access these areas. However, lowering the water level created a barrier at the upstream weir, which had to be addressed using a pool and traverse fish easement created with rock rolls.

Monitoring surveys and results

This case study hasn’t got any Monitoring survey and results, you can add some by editing the project overview.

Lessons learnt

This case study hasn’t got any lessons learnt, you can add some by editing the project overview.

Image gallery

Before Works - April 2006
Culvert and sluice boards - Aug 2007
Pool and traverse fish pass - Aug 2007
Deflectors used to concentrate flow - Feb 2007
Deflector boards after 6 months - Aug 2007
Brown trout present - Feb 2007
Post Works - Sept 2007

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Anglian
River basin North West Norfolk


River name Babingley River
Area category 10 - 100 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 100 - 200 m
Maximum altitude (m) 103
103 m
0.103 km
10,300 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB105033047620

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Nine Chalk Rivers Project - Babingley Catchment


Name Babingley River at Hillington
WFD water body codes GB105033047620
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
Pre-project morphology Impounded online lake
Reference morphology Narrower, shallower and sinuous channel
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest Brown trout (Salmo trutta)
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use Agriculture (arable)/Woodland
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 420
420 m
0.42 km
42,000 cm
Project started 2006
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2007/02/01
Total cost category Less than 1 k€
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Total cost: €695.00. Environment Agency and Hillington Fly Fishing Club

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Barriers to fish migration, Impoundments (not hydropower)
Hydromorphology Channel pattern/planform
Biology Fish
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Creation of wooden deflectors, Habitat diversification, Cleaning of spawning gravels
Floodplain / River corridor Riparian planting
Planform / Channel pattern Channel narrowing, Adding sinuosity, Removal of sluice gates, Creation of fish passes, Channel naturalisation
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Fish: Abundance Yes Yes No Yes No Improvement
Invertebrates: Taxonomic composition Yes Yes Yes No No Improvement
Macrophytes No Yes No Yes No Improvement

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

Link Description Norfolk Rivers Trust Article

Supplementary Information

Edit Supplementary Information