Case study:Prologis Midpoint Park river restoration scheme

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Location: 52° 31' 13", -1° 45' 42"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Social benefits, Urban
Country England
Main contact forename Thomasine
Main contact surname Rudd
Main contact user ID User:T Rudd
Contact organisation Cascade Consulting
Contact organisation web site http://www.cascadeconsulting.co.uk
Partner organisations Prologis
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
No
Prologis Midpoint Park River restoration scheme

Project summary

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This river restoration scheme was designed to mitigate three major impacts from the redevelopment of part of Minworth Sewage Treatment Works for development of a business park, ProLogis Park Midpoint. It is an example of how an innovative approach can be taken to multiple problem-solving in development. The site comprised abandoned sludge lagoons that provided habitat for over-wintering birds. It was directly adjacent to the River Tame and was almost entirely within its floodplain. There was thus a need to provide ecological mitigation; to pull back the development area to respect Birmingham City Council’s requirement for a 50m riparian buffer strip; and to provide flood compensation. A river restoration scheme was designed, in close consultation with the Environment Agency, to form a back channel and islands along the Tame (which was canalised and lacked ecological interest in that reach), with an attenuation pond to control runoff. With Birmingham City Council’s approval, this was located within the buffer area, and was sized to provide the required flood storage volume to compensate for that lost to the development. The scheme thus met all the mitigation requirements through a holistic and innovative approach, while minimising the loss of developable land.

Works include:

  • Provision of riparian buffer area to support Local Authority aspiration for riverside walkway
  • Retention of trees on islands and creation of deadwood piles for small mammals/invertebrates
  • Erection of bird and bat boxes
  • Wildflower seeding of back channel banks

Monitoring surveys and results

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The river has adopted a more naturalised channel, with braiding, gravel shoals, small islands and back waters forming over time. This increases the potential biodiversity of this reach, which was previously canalised and fast flowing, with vertical banks. The backwater channel and islands provide suitable habitat for riparian mammals, while the slower shallow waters of the new channel offer a refuge for spawning and juvenile fish. The original bankside willow and poplar trees were retained on the three islands to provide undisturbed habitat, and deadwood piles were created on the islands from other trees and scrub that were felled around the sludge lagoons to provide habitat for invertebrates and small mammals. In accordance with the ongoing Wildlife Management Plan for the site, prepared by Cascade, the developer undertakes a regular maintenance schedule, mainly involving removing debris (particularly tyres) dumped upstream and which end up in the back channel. No formal monitoring and evaluation is undertaken although the site is inspected visually to check that the islands remain stable.

Lessons learnt

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This has demonstrated that river restoration can be achieved by private developers as a cost-effective mitigation measure. The construction cost of the scheme, mostly earthworks, was approximately 5% of the total.

It is important to show that these types of schemes can be delivered effectively by private developers, in close consultation with other stakeholders. This complements other river restoration work being undertaken by the public sector.

Finally, in the process of facilitating development (which assists in economic regeneration) these types of restoration schemes can contribute a range of ecosystem services including supporting services (habitat creation; biodiversity); regulating services (flood control) and cultural services (potential recreation and amenity through riverside walkway; tranquillity; and educational services through being used as a demonstration project).


Image gallery


River Tame pre-restoration
River Tame pre-restoration
Construction of backwater at top of back channel
Construction of back channel and islands
Attenuation pond
Back channel and islands
Back channel looking downstream
Downstream end of back channel
Upstream end of back channel
Downstream island
Looking upstream
Bat box
Seeded wildflowers
Satellite map
ShowHideAdditionalImage.png


Catchment and subcatchment

Catchment

River basin district Humber
River basin Tame Anker and Mease

Subcatchment

River name River Tame from R Blythe to River Anker
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 100 - 200 m
Maximum altitude (m) 134
134 m
0.134 km
13,400 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB104028046440



Other case studies in this subcatchment: Taming the Tame


Site

Name
WFD water body codes GB104028046440
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name River Tame from R Blythe to River Anker
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) 400
400 m
0.4 km
40,000 cm
Project started
Works started 2008/01/01
Works completed 2008/12/01
Project completed
Total cost category
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Private developer

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design Cascade Consulting Thomasine Rudd
Stakeholder engagement and communication Cascade Consulting Thomasine Rudd
Works and works supervision Prologis David Storer
Post-project management and maintenance Prologis David Storer
Monitoring



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project As an integrated mitigation to facilitate development adjacent to the river


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications formation of back channel with three islands
Floodplain / River corridor Creation of a flood expansion area, Creation of pond, Buffer strips
Planform / Channel pattern Creation of braided channel
Other
Non-structural measures
Management interventions regular maintenance in line with Wildlifel Management Plan to remove rubbish fly-tipped upstream
Social measures (incl. engagement) has been used as an example of good practice by Environment Agency
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

Supplementary Information

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