Case study:Lullingstone Castle

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Location: 51° 21' 32", 0° 12' 0"
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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 Louise
Main contact surname Smith
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation North West Kent Countryside Partnership
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Site locations (North West Kent Countryside Partnership)

Project summary

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The River Darent is a tributary of the River Thames. This groundwater fed chalk river exhibits typical attributes including clear water, abundant macrophytes, low banks and reasonably stable flows. The river has suffered from over abstraction as well as being heavily modified for historical agricultural irrigation and to provide power for milling. The rivers course through a number of large lakes fragment habitats and puts pressure on water quality and quantity in the river. The North West Kent Countryside Partnership (NWKCP) and King Fisher Angling and Preservation Society (KAPS)carried out a project in 2010/2011 on the Darent running through the grounds of Lullingstone Castle. The Wild Trout Trust undertook an advisory visit in July 2009 to identify the project area which exhibited historical straightening, slow flows and high water temperatures due to its location just downstream of a 15ha on-line lake. Heavy siltation in the channel and dense wooded banks also contributed to an overall poor habitat for fish (particularly native Brown Trout). Objectives included: • Improve in stream habitat for juvenile and adult fish as well as provision of spawning habitats by the creation of areas of clean loose gravels and increased flow rates

• Increased flow levels to ensure a healthy flow to maintain habitats even during summer low flows

• Increase marginal habitats by clearing trees and scrub and planting new marginal aquatic plants to support invertebrate, wildfowl and water vole populations

• Narrowing and meandering of the channel using large woody debris and faggots

• Increase fishing opportunities by improving condition of the river

The Environment Agency initiated the project, with the North West Kent Countryside Partnership engaging with local fishing clubs who had initially developed and planned the project to provide advice and support work delivery. This partnership ensured the ability to deliver a wide range of objectives. Project delivery was between January and April 2011 (to correspond with the closed fishing season) by KAPS and NWKCP staff and volunteers. The Environment Agency funded the £3,640 cost including materials and NWKCP officer time. The reach was divided into sections A-F a brief review of work completed is:

A- Installation of deflector

B- Channel narrowing, faggoting to encourage new bank development and increase marginal habitat

C- Faggot barrier to block inlet, installation of coir rolls between faggot bundles to create vegetation

D- Block off artificial channels by installing faggots, planting area using coir pallets

E- Installation of large woody debris and coir rolls to narrow channel

F- Group deflectors at varying lengths, pack faggot bundles between deflectors to create marginal habitats

These works have been a success, making a noticeable difference to fishing quality (reports of increased catch rates). A reach has now been created which provides a variety of habitats beneficial to fish, and has encouraged possible spawning activity in the area. The KAPS and NWKCP are keen to continue works and have begun identification of possible sites for the future. Since 2011 the North West Kent Countryside Partnership have revisited the project to deliver additional habitat improvement works. The additional work undertaken included the installation of large woody debris to create a set of 'v' deflectors which have established another pool and riffle sequence and helped to increase the flow within this location. The work provides additional spawning opportunity for fish as well as offering greater diversity in the types of habitat available. The Partnership has also modified an overly wide canalised section (area F) to increase the depth and the flow rate through this section. The narrowing has also improved the scouring effect of the existing deflectors, helping to remove the heavy silt on the river bed and expose the gravels.

The RRC would like to thank Louise Smith (North West Kent Countryside Partnership) for providing all project information, site map and pictures.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Image gallery

before (A)
after (A)
before (B)
after (B)

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Thames
River basin Darent


River name Mid Darent
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 200 - 500 m
Maximum altitude (m) 244
244 m
0.244 km
24,400 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB106040024222

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Darent Valley Path, Lullingstone Castle phase 2, River Darent at Hawley Manor


Name Lullingstone Castle
WFD water body codes GB106040024222
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name Mid Darent
Pre-project morphology Straightened, Over-widened
Reference morphology Low gradient passively meandering, Pool-riffle
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 Brown trout
Dominant hydrology Groundwater
Dominant substrate Silt, Gravel
River corridor land use Broadleaf/mixed plantation, Improved/semi-improved grassland/pasture, Urban
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) 500
500 m
0.5 km
50,000 cm
Project started 2009
Works started 2011/01/01
Works completed 2011/04/09
Project completed 2011/12/31
Total cost category
Total cost (k€) 4509
4,509 k€
4,509,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Environment Agency

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

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Abstraction, historic straightening
Hydromorphology Channel pattern/planform, Quantity & dynamics of flow
Biology Fish, Invertebrates
Physico-chemical Temperature
Other reasons for the project to improve local fishery


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Placement of faggots, Deflectors, Marginal planting
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern Channel narrowing, Decrease sedimentation
Other Tree management, Cut back of trees
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
http:// North West Kent Countryside Partnership

Supplementary Information

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