Case study:Hadfield Weir Fish Pass

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Location: 53° 24' 52", -1° 24' 52"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Economic aspects, Fisheries, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity
Country England
Main contact forename Karen
Main contact surname Eynon
Main contact user ID User:‎KarenEynon
Contact organisation Don Catchment Rivers Trust
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
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Project summary

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Originally the funding for this project was meant to build a fish pass at Sprotbrough weir in Doncaster but British Waterways (BW), the owners of the weir, had a last minute change of heart and announced that they were planning to install a hydro scheme on the weir. They were to use Small Hydro(SH) to build it. . The change required BW to install a fishpass as part of the construction. Despite the fact that a fishpass had already been designed it was essential that a new design was undertaken covering the hydro scheme and fishpass in order to provide an effective solution. As the construction had now become part of a commercial operation it was felt inappropriate for public money to be used. After consultation with ART and the EA the Trust withdrew its' offer of funding. The EA similarly withdrew its' funding from the project. However, approval was received from DEFRA, the EA and The Rivers Trust for the project funding to be transferred from the Sprotborough Weir project to the Hadfields Weir project.

Historically the rivers of South Yorkshire were heavily utilised for the requirements of industries such as coal and steel. The obstructions left over from these industrial days are now causing obstacles to the free passage for many species of fish thus suppressing the recovery of fish populations.

Hadfield Weir on the River Don is one of the major obstacles on the river. It is highly visible as it is located outside a very busy shopping centre that has a footfall of 30 million people; there is a busy cycle and footpath on the riverside which is part of the Five Weirs Walk that runs from the city centre.

Don Catchment Rivers Trust, almost entirely through the work of volunteers, managed to secure a not inconsiderable amount of money from the Defra River Improvement Fund to enable a multi-species fish and eel pass to be built. This will help to restore river connectivity for fish and eels in the River Don, allowing fish to move between habitats above and below the weir, essential if it is to be fully exploited for feeding, rearing and breeding.

This project is part of a wider scheme on the Don to allow fish passage and encourage the return of salmon. This iconic species is the ultimate indicator of clean, healthy rivers and would have economic as well as environmental impacts for the city of Sheffield

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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No project is too big if you have the right people to back you!

The whole process of completing the project from inception through feasibility, design, engaging contractors and construction has been a major learning experience for the Don Catchment Rivers Trust.

The experience and proven track record gained will enable us to gain funding for more important river improvement projects.

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HAdfield crop.jpg

File:Option 1 view 1.pdf


Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Humber
River basin Don and Rother


River name Don from River Don Works to River Rother
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 100 - 200 m
Maximum altitude (m) 158
158 m
0.158 km
15,800 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Urban
Waterbody ID GB104027057413


Name Meadowhall
WFD water body codes GB104027057413
WFD (national) typology Mid, Medium, Calcareous
WFD water body name River Don
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body Yes
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present No
Invasive species present Yes
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use Urban, Retail
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 2012/08/22
Works completed 2013/02/11
Project completed 2013/02/11
Total cost category 100 - 500 k€
Total cost (k€) 400 k€
400,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Defra, Environment Agency

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design 10 - 50 k€
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision 100 - 500 k€
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Biology Fish
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Eel pass, Creation of fish passes
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern
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

Link Description Video of construction (5mins) Sequential photos

Supplementary Information

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