Case study:Habitat enhancement of the River Waveney through Bressingham

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Location: 52° 22' 45", 1° 2' 17"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Fisheries, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology
Country England
Main contact forename Trevor
Main contact surname Bond
Main contact user ID User:Tbond
Contact organisation Environment Agency
Contact organisation web site http://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency
Partner organisations Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Meryvn Lambert Plant Hire
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
No
Alternating berms on the River Waveney at Bressingham

Project summary

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The River Waveney through Bressingham has historically been diverted into what is colloquially referred to as the "New Cut". This linear, steep-sided channel was in much need of enhancement and following conversations with various local landowners, a scheme was put together to improve the river's form and function.

The lack of gradient through the site limits the effectiveness of restoration techniques aimed at increasing flow velocity. This is exacerbated by long-term maintenance that has seen the river routinely de-silted to a substantial depth, exceeding 1.5m in some places. Consequently the work that was undertaken aimed to increase habitat availability and diversity. Specifically, more shelter was created for fish and small in-stream organisms by constructing brushwood mattresses. Shallow berms were installed to soften the edge between the aquatic and terrestrial environment, providing an area of transitional plants to establish. In some locations a two-stage channel was formed using old spoil embankments, maintaining conveyance but increasing flow velocity at low flows.

Over the course of two weeks in October 2014 and with a budget of under £15,000, approximately 1.5km of river channel was enhanced.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Image gallery


Looking downstream at a berm feature that was installed on the true left-hand bank of the River Waveney
High-powered drills were necessary for us to screw some of the wooden features in place
Timber screws were used to connect the woody-debris to the vertical stakes. The screws are discrete but ensure the structure is solid
Prior to works the river banks were checked for water vole burrows
A long-reach excavator was the perfect tool for the job of working around a fence line. The weight of the machine did cause some minor tracking issues but ensured the required stability when working so close to the river bank
Brushwood mattresses were built largely by hand and create and excellent refuge for various species, particularly small fish
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Catchment and subcatchment



Site

Name
WFD water body codes GB105034045820
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)
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Average unit stream power (W/m2)


Project background

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Cost for project phases

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Monitoring



Reasons for river restoration

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


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern
Other
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
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Monitoring

Hydromorphological quality elements

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Monitoring documents



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Supplementary Information

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