Case study:Letting the Dove Flow 2

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Location: 53° 4' 0", -1° 47' 0"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site
Themes Fisheries, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Social benefits
Country England
Main contact forename Tim
Main contact surname Brooks
Main contact user ID User:TBrooks
Contact organisation Environment Agency
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
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encompassing the following
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Project summary

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The river Dove in Dovedale and Wolfscote Dale is one of the most renowned river stretches in Britain. In recognition of its ecological value, the river is designated as part of the nationally important Dove Valley and Biggin Dale Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The river Dove is further recognised as being internationally important for its wildlife and is designated as part of the Peak District Dales Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Dovedale is also a National Nature Reserve (NNR) managed by the National Trust.

The 2010 Site Improvement Plan (SIP) for the Peak District Dales SAC states that weirs, dams and other structures create pressures on the river Dove for White Clawed Crayfish, Bullhead and Brook Lamprey and prevent natural hydrological processes happening, limiting natural habitat development.It recommends that this should be addressed through a river restoration strategy.

Letting the Dove Flow is the name for the river restoration strategy that builds on the findings of previous studies and aims to develop a long term plan to restore the river and a partnership to implement short, medium and long term.

Monitoring surveys and results

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A heritage audit was commissioned to assess the cultural and historic significance of the 177 weirs recorded and heritage assets along the 10km of the riverine SSSI in order to inform restoration proposals. The report provides a record of the built structures and includes an assessment of their historical significance along with recommendations for recording and interpretation.

A River Habitat Survey (RHS) has been undertaken over the last two years to provide an update to the last one undertaken in 2012. This will provide a useful baseline for future RHS post weir removal on a reach basis and throughout the entire SSSI.

A specific ecological monitoring strategy has been put in place to supplement routine EA monitoring locations within the SSSI. Additional fish and invertebrate surveys will be undertaken pre and post weir removal.

Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment


Name Dovedale
WFD water body codes GB104028057780
WFD (national) typology Calcareous
WFD water body name River Dove source to River Manifold
Pre-project morphology Impounded, Reinforced banks
Reference morphology Actively meandering, Pool-riffle
Desired post project morphology Actively meandering, Pool-riffle
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation EU - Special Area of Conservation
Local/regional site designations SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), NNR
Protected species present Yes
Invasive species present Yes
Species of interest white clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), bullhead (Cottus gobio)
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate Cobble, Gravel
River corridor land use Broadleaf/mixed woodland (semi natural), Rock/scree or sand dunes, Rough unimproved grassland/pasture
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
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Average bankfull channel depth (m)
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Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
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Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 10000
10,000 m
10 km
1,000,000 cm
Project started 2015
Works started
Works completed
Project completed
Total cost category
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
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Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design Natural England
Stakeholder engagement and communication National Trust
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Impoundments (not hydropower)
Hydromorphology Continuity of sediment transport, Quantity & dynamics of flow
Biology Fish
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications removing or breaching weirs and reinforcements, Allowing stone weirs and bank reinforcements to break down, Removal of bank reinforcements
Floodplain / River corridor Improvement of natural flows, Improve longitudinal connectivity, Introducing large woody debris, r
Planform / Channel pattern Channel naturalisation, Improvement of channel morphology, Removal of impoundments
Non-structural measures
Management interventions Monitoring strategy
Social measures (incl. engagement) Awareness raising, Engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, Improved leisure environment for angling and recreation


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

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

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Supplementary Information

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