Case study:Dorset CPAF Projects

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Location: 50° 45' 18", -2° 28' 29"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Environmental flows and water resources, Fisheries, Habitat and biodiversity, Land use management - agriculture, Monitoring, Social benefits, Water quality
Country England
Main contact forename Jacob
Main contact surname Dew
Main contact user ID User:DorsetWR
Contact organisation Dorset Wildlife Trust
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations FWAG SW, Kingston Waurward College, Wessex Chalk Streams and Rivers Trust, Litter Free Coast and Sea, Dorset Coastal Forum, Bournemouth Borough Council
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Dorset CPAF Projects
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Project summary

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The Dorset Wildlife Trust CPAF projects delivered results through a series of specific projects, tailor-made for issues found on the ground across Dorset in a variety of locations. Projects on the Stour linked to the receptor coastal water bodies as well as supporting refuges for coarse fish populations. Projects on the Corfe showed proactive work and how small scale land management projects can benefit the water course. Projects on the Frome were linked to existing restoration plans and will engage with farmers of the future.

Frome (lower) - This project enhanced the wildlife value of the floodplain and slowed the flow of water with simple water control structures. Complementary works to increase light to ordinary watercourses through tree management and in channel enhancements to benefit fish interest were also undertaken. The project improved the floodplains link to the river during times of high flow and increased nutrient loading capacity.

The Corfe River - In 2014, FWAG SW undertook a scoping study of the waterbody to identify problems, restoration habitat opportunities (both in-channel and on adjacent riparian habitat) and potential land management change opportunities. From this, some simple and quick-win restoration projects were identified to help reduce bank erosion, create marginal habitat, and increase light to the watercourse. Pasture pumps and drinking troughs have been installed, Drinking bays fenced off, River margins fenced and Trees crowned to let light in and promote marginal vegetation growth.

Bourne Stream - Only Rain Down The Drain; A solution was needed to help Bournemouth town centre businesses (specifically food outlets to tackle the issues of surface water contamination leading to negative impacts on bathing water quality. The project focussed on improving understanding of what can and cannot be poured down surface water drains, the negative impact pollutants put into the drain can have on bathing water quality directly and the wider social and economic impacts to the area if poor bathing water quality is recorded at Bournemouth beaches. Businesses were motivated to change behaviour around surface water drains so that only rain goes down the drain.

Tarrant: The project is trialling techniques to successfully establish wetland plant/meadow communities in high nutrient conditions. The project will develop a bespoke species rich floodplain grassland/meadow seed mix and sow in a floodplain with the seed bank, soil fertility, site hydrology and ecology monitored over a 5yr period.

Stour: The project excavated and cleared a partially blocked ditch of dense vegetation and trees to produce a new shallow channel with a gentle gradient down to the river edge; a perfect habitat for maturing coarse fish fry.

The objectives across all the sub-projects are: • Restore 1400m of river habitats • Restore 700m of ditch habitat • Undertake works to reconnect/re-wet 5ha of floodplain habitat, helping with flood alleviation • Reduce tree cover and excessive shading along 250m stretch of river • Reduce silt entering waterbody and habitat enhancement at 8 sites covering in total 340m • Contact 200 food business and provide information to reduce the amount of chemicals that go down surface drainage gullies. • Reduce the amount of urban diffuse pollution entering 80% of the gullies that enter the Bourne Stream • Restore river corridor habitat and buffering by allowing the conditions needed to reinstate a natural green cover and increasing wetland plant diversity in and adjacent to 500m of watercourse • Sow 1.5ha floodplain sward with native floodplain meadow mix • Provide 6 case studies and demonstration sites of enhancement works locally to engage other landowners within the catchments and act as a catalyst for future improvement work.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Frome: Plant and soil surveys twice a year to show enhanced diversification of floodplain sward through ditch clearance. Pre and post electrofishing surveys to monitor improvements to fish habitats in the opened up channels. Corfe River: Pre and post photographs over a number of years and water quality testing to show development of marginal vegetation and improvements to historically badly managed areas. Bourne Stream: Bathing water quality testing to monitor changes in water quality entering the Sea from the Bourne. Tarrant: Plant and soil surveys twice each summer for 5 years and monthly Dipwell data to be written up annually and evaluated at the end of 5yrs. Stour: Netting of fry bays to see use by coarse fish during regular periods throughout the year.

Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment


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Heavily modified water body
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Project background

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Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Flood risk management
Biology Habitats
Physico-chemical Reducing silt runoff from drains, Reducing urban diffuse pollution
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Buffer strips, Floodplain reconnection
Planform / Channel pattern Cut back of trees
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)


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Monitoring documents

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Supplementary Information

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