Case study:Hills to Levels

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Location: 51° 5' 57", -2° 57' 52"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site http://https://www.therrc.co.uk/sites/default/files/projects/31_hillstolevels.pdf
Themes Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Land use management - agriculture, Land use management - forestry, Monitoring, Water quality
Country England
Main contact forename Joanna
Main contact surname Uglow
Main contact user ID User:FWAGSW-H2L
Contact organisation Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest
Contact organisation web site http://www.fwagsw.org.uk/
Partner organisations FWAG SW, Somerset Rivers Authority, Environment Agency, RSPB, Somerset Wildlife Trust
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
Hills to Levels Logo

Project summary

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Following the devastating floods in Somerset winter in 2013/14, ‘Hills to Levels’ was set up as a collaboration between the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) SouthWest, Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT), RSPB and the Royal Bath & West Society. The work is over five main catchments – River Parrett, River Tone, West Somerset Streams, River Brue and River Axe. Since then, Hills to Levels has come a long way: water quality, erosion reduction and improving habitats have been added to the original project remit and the funders and project partners have changed. Currently, Hills to Levels is supported by and works in partnership with the Somerset Rivers Authority, the Environment Agency, Interreg 2 Seas (Triple C project) and Natural England Catchment Sensitive Farming.

Many streams in the area are failing current standards for inputs of sediment and phosphate and poor fish habitat; and their ecology suffers from being heavily modified through centuries of use. The project uses a holistic catchment approach, providing advice on soil and land use management in order to reduce sediment runoff to the rivers, and improve infiltration and hydrological processes to reduce flooding and improve drought resilience.

Every field, every farm and every stream have a part to play.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Half field trials have been undertaken to assess the effect subsoiling and grassland aeration have on soil infiltration rates. Leaky woody dams are being monitored to assess their effect on the flood hydrograph and in-channel geomorphology and habitats. FWAG SW are working with Bristol University and providing sites to monitor; so far monitoring equipment has been installed in a floodplain storage scheme and other sites are being identified for investigation.

Results to be made available in due course.

Lessons learnt

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Image gallery


Leaky Pond, South Somerset
Leaky Woody Dams
Soil Assessments and Soil Husbandry Advice
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Catchment and subcatchment



Site

Name Parrett, Tone, Brue, Axe and West Somerset Streams
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)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)


Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 2015/01/01
Works started
Works completed
Project completed
Total cost category
Total cost (k€) £1.25m
"£" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Local Growth Fund, Peoples Postcode Lottery, Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Somerset Rivers Authority, Water Environment Improvement Fund, Interegg Two Seas, Princes Countryside Fund, Environment Agency Grant in Aid

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 Flooding and Water Quality
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Bank stabilisation, habitat creation
Floodplain / River corridor Floodplain reconnection, floodplain scrapes, floodplain woodland planting
Planform / Channel pattern Opening long sections of culverts, leaky woody dams
Other Run-off interception, diversion, attenuation
Non-structural measures
Management interventions Soil managment and land use to improve infiltration and water quality
Social measures (incl. engagement) Working with Parish Councils and Flood Action Groups
Other


Monitoring

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
http://https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQzUFXhjlwqsahY4JGQgkWw Suite of videos demonstrating practices adopted across the project area
http://http://www.somersetriversauthority.org.uk/ Somerset Rivers Authority formed from the Somerset 20 year Flood Action Plan. Hills to Levels is delivering the Land Management workstream

Supplementary Information

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