Case study:Exmoor Mires Partnership

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Location: 51° 8' 27", -3° 44' 53"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site http://www.therrc.co.uk/sites/default/files/projects/36_exmoor.pdf
Themes Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - agriculture, Land use management - forestry, Monitoring, Social benefits, Water quality
Country England
Main contact forename Morag
Main contact surname Angus
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation South West Water
Contact organisation web site http://www.southwestwater.co.uk/
Partner organisations Exmoor Mires Partnership, Environment Agency, Natural England, Historic England, Exmoor National Park Authoity, University of Exeter, Landowners and farmers
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
No
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Project summary

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The shallow and maritime peatlands of Exmoor in south-west England (Map 1) have been heavily influenced by human activity over many centuries, with significant areas drained in the 19th and 20th centuries in an effort to improve agricultural productivity. Water is no longer stored as efficiently in the peat. During periods of high rainfall, more water runs off the land and flows downstream into already swollen rivers. In dry periods, river baseflows are poorly maintained. The peatlands have become dry and consequently are losing more carbon (via both fluvial and gaseous pathways) than they accumulate. The quality of water leaving the peat bogs is also deteriorating. The holistic, multiple benefits approach provided by the Exmoor Mires Partnership is helping the peatlands to recover to their more natural ecohydrological structure and function. • Cost: £4.5 million (2010 to 2020) to restore 3,000ha of peatland, with 1,400ha achieved by December 2016. • Water storage: A rise in the water table level of 2.65cm on average across the areas monitored and up to 21cm in some deeper peat locations. • A 33% reduction in storm flow leaving the restored sites, equivalent to 6,630 Olympic sized swimming pools when extrapolated across the total restored area. • Examination of the hydrograph and flow duration curve at the Spooners monitoring catchment shows a clear increase in base flow levels post restoration. • Water quality: An overall reduction in the total carbon yield from the restored sites of up to 50% since restoration. • Biodiversity: 31% of Exmoor peatlands restored to their ecohydrological function, contributing 1,400ha by December 2016 to the national Priority Blanket Bog habitat restoration targets.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment



Site

Name Exe
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
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)
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Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)


Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2010
Works started
Works completed
Project completed
Total cost category
Total cost (k€) £4.5m
"£" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources South West Water, Environment Agency, Natural England

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
Monitoring



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Flood risk management
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern
Other Surface drainage systems improved, Moorland restoration
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)
Other


Monitoring

Hydromorphological quality elements

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

Biological quality elements

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Physico-chemical quality elements

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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



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Additional links and references

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Supplementary Information

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