Case study:Eastridge Estate restoration project

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Location: 51° 25' 59", -1° 32' 52"
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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, Hydromorphology
Country England
Main contact forename Vaughan
Main contact surname Lewis
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Eastridge Estate and Windrush AEC Ltd
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations Natural England, Environment Agency
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
The newly narrowed channel

Project summary

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The River Kennet was the subject overviews by the Environment Agency and Natural England. These overviews revealed that the Kennet was in an unfavourable condition with respect to its SSSI designation. Problems included barriers to fish migration, of which there were 3 major and 1 minor. Barriers usually refer to weirs which completely block any way for fish and eels to get to their spawning grounds. Weirs can also prevent the conveyance of sediments throughout a reach. The water meadows surrounding the channel were also classified as being in 'poor' condition.

The project objectives were to:

  • Achieve favourable condition for the length of the Kennet through the estate.
  • Achieve favourable condition for the Kennet, Lambourn and water meadows on the estate.
  • Increase hydrological connectivity between the river and floodplain.
  • Remove barriers to fish migration.
  • Improve wild trout numbers.
  • Improve the overall water quality of the fishery.

The measures used to combat these issues included the introduction of 3,000 tonnes of gravel along the profile. This was to allow for the formation of natural features such as riffles. The channel was narrowed by 5m in places to also allow for natural flows and variations withinin the channel. To address the four barriers to migration, fish and eel passes were built. Trees were cut back to reduce the amount of shade and introduce more light into the channel.

At points along the reach the banks were lowered to promote flooding onto the wetlands. Parts of the wetlands were also excavated to provide a better environment for the wildlife on the wetlands.

Monitoring surveys and results

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The project appears to have been a success with many of the objectives being achieved. There is evidence of changes to the morphology and flow patterns in the newly enhanced channel. The channel is also free of any significant impoundments, with increases in gravel bedded habitats. There also appears to be a increases in the abundance and diversity of submerged and emergent macrophytes in the channel and along its margins. Fish populations of fish have also increased and it is hoped that one day there will be a self sustaining population.

Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Thames
River basin Kennet and Pang


River name Middle Kennet (Marlborough to Newbury)
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 200 - 500 m
Maximum altitude (m) 264
264 m
0.264 km
26,400 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB106039023172

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Habitat Improvement: Stonebridge River Reserve, Og and Marlborough Fish Migration, River Kennet Restoration at Durnsford


WFD water body codes GB106039023172
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name Middle Kennet (Marlborough to Newbury)
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
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
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use
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)
Project started
Works started 2012/09/01
Works completed
Project completed 2013/10/01
Total cost category 100 - 500 k€
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Environment Agency

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
Hydromorphology Poor river connectivity
Biology Barriers to fish migration
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Creation of fish passes, Introduction of gravel
Floodplain / River corridor lowering river bank
Planform / Channel pattern Channel narrowing, Introducing large woody debris
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

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

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Supplementary Information

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