Case study:River Avon Habitat Enhancement, Fifield
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- 1 Project overview
- 2 Image gallery
- 3 Catchment and subcatchment
- 4 Site
- 5 Project background
- 6 Reasons for river restoration
- 7 Measures
- 8 Monitoring
- 9 Additional documents and videos
- 10 Additional links and references
- 11 Supplementary Information
|Project web site|
|Themes||Environmental flows and water resources, Fisheries, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology|
|Main contact forename||Mike|
|Main contact surname||Blackmore|
|Main contact user ID|
|Contact organisation||Wild Trout Trust|
|Contact organisation web site||http://www.wildtrout.org/|
|Partner organisations||Wessex Chalkstreams Project, Environment Agency, local volunteers|
|Parent multi-site project|
| This is a parent project
encompassing the following
As part of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's 'Wessex Chalkstream Project' which promotes understanding and conservation on the Hampshire Avon, the Wild Trout Trust led a week of habitat enhancement work on the River Avon at Fifield near Netheravon.
This section of the Avon was once managed by the famous river keeper and author Frank Sawyer. During his time as head keeper for the Services Dry Fly Fishing Association (SDFFA), Frank oversaw the restoration of the river from a polluted, over-silted one, no-longer capable of supporting trout, towards a productive flowing river with a clean gravel bed. Frank's 'Great Clean Up', although not a complete success, led the way for future generations to improve river habitat.
Volunteers with the support of the Wild Trout Trust, two Wessex Chalkstream Project officers and the local Environment Agency contact, helped to introduce an abundance of woody material into the river, kicking flow about to create a more pronounced thalweg and helping diversify the habitat. By the end of the week, 500 metres of river habitat had been enhanced for £1000 plus the cost of a few chestnut stakes (a bargain at 3 times the price!).
Monitoring surveys and results
Wednesday 30 April 2014 (update)
Following winter flooding and sustained high water levels, the work has stood up really well to the demanding weather. Still, there was some repair work and tidying up to do at the Fifield site. Over the winter some trees had blown down and were blocking paths and posing a potential risk of flooding and damage to the restoration work. The main problem was a large tree branch which had fallen across a footbridge and the bottom end of the reach. After consulting with landowners, the fishing club that manages the site and the Environment Agency, it was decided that the wood should be used to create further habitat at the lower end of the site, and at the same time remove the risk.
One volunteer was a young soldier getting back into physical work after a gruelling 3-year recovery from being seriously wounded in an explosion in Afghanistan. Despite being exhausted, he very much enjoyed the day highlighting the therapeutic value of hands-on conservation work.
Catchment and subcatchment
Select a catchment/subcatchment
Cost for project phases
Reasons for river restoration
Hydromorphological quality elements
Biological quality elements
Physico-chemical quality elements
Additional documents and videos