Case study:Pickering Beck & Dutchy Water improvement project

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Location: 54° 15' 37", -0° 45' 44"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Fisheries, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Land use management - forestry, Social benefits
Country England
Main contact forename Dave
Main contact surname Southall
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Pickering Fisheries Association
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations Rivers Trust, Wild Trout Trust, Environment Agency, East Yorkshire Rivers Trust, Bishop Burton Agricultural College
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Volunteer-led in-channel works in progress

Project summary

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The project won the Amateur category award at the annual Wild Trout Trust (WTT) Conservation Awards 2013. The panel comprised two experts, Paul Gaskell (WTT) and Dr. Jenny Mant from the River Restoration Centre.

This work was planned by a project team, supported by the Rivers Trust and WTT. Originally there was a number of days help from Bishop Burton Agricultural College students on the Fisheries Management Course. The number of club members working on the beck varied but often there was a team of seven to ten people. The work was carefully delegated as some contributed by undertaking lighter work whilst others were able to safely use equipment to fell trees, remove them from the beck and then fix safely in place using rebar and heavy duty wire.

The main financial help was through grants from the Grayling Society; finance, training and help from the WTT, assistance from the East Yorkshire Rivers Trust; but to undertake the works, the project required funding from the Pickering Fisheries Association (PFA) and members base. The total cost is difficult to ascertain as members often provided equipment and materials; the cost direct to the PFA is in the region of £1000. These expendatures have been minimized by using local materials and the good will of members.

The work will be a long-term project. As of 2013, it had so far taken three years of dedicated work. The main elements of the project have been to:- A) reduce the tree canopy, maintain dappled light and stabilize the banks. B) introduce woody debris and develop scours by upstream V’s. Trees have been secured on the margins of the beck and brash bundles have been used to minimize bank erosion. C) continue our monthly Riverfly Invertebrate Monitoring, that started in 2011, in order to monitor the effects of the work on already very healthy invertebrate populations (also to monitor any pollution problems). D) provide safe ingress and exit from the bank and provide safety rope near to deep pools. E) develop paths and clear debris from the forest floor. F) ensure anglers have safe access along side of the Steam railway Track by building walkways from felled trees.

The project used local materials and the techniques used were developed using the expertise and help from the project partnership (e.g. literature, videos and visits to other fisheries). The work programme was adapted to suit the limited skill and physicality of volunteers present and time constraints. The current team has built up knowledge and contacts to continue to maintain and improve the river corridor in a sustainable manner.

Monitoring surveys and results

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The beck is now providing an improved habitat for wild trout and there has been an increase in catch rates. The beck now provides an enhanced habitat for other flora and fauna. The banks are more stable and trees in danger of falling in the beck and damaging the bank have been removed.

Lessons learnt

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River management must be sensitive to the needs of the river and the wider environment.

The project had to be undertaken in bite sized bits and work involved, and was supported by, members of the local fisheries association. Working parties encouraged attendance by family members of all ages and were also a key mechanism for engagement as well as labour. Members worked as inclusive teams and their success and achievements were fed back to them to demonstrate their involvement in completing the scheme.

The work also dovetailed with and contributed to the efforts of the 'slowing the flows' project that is designed to generate floodwater storage upstream of a bridge bottleneck notorious for flooding Pickering town centre. Inventive use of heavy-horses to undertake coniferous forestry management also solved difficulties with vehicular access.

The Pickering Fisheries Association (PFA) are planning a similar project to manage and protect another wild trout fishery.

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Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Humber
River basin Derwent (Humber)


River name Pickering Beck from Source to Costa Beck
Area category 10 - 100 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 100 - 200 m
Maximum altitude (m) 183
183 m
0.183 km
18,300 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB104027068470

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Pickering Beck & Dutchy Water improvement project


WFD water body codes GB104027068470
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name Pickering Beck from Source to Costa Beck
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 2010/01/01
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
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Impoundments (not hydropower)
Hydromorphology Quantity & dynamics of flow, Width & depth variation
Biology Fish
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Soft erosion solutions, Introducing large woody debris
Floodplain / River corridor Tree management
Planform / Channel pattern
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement) Awareness raising


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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