Case study:River Avon Restoration Project

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Location: 51° 18' 25", -1° 48' 36"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site http://www.therrc.co.uk/sites/default/files/projects/3_avon.pdf
Themes Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - agriculture, Water quality
Country England
Main contact forename Alasdair
Main contact surname Maxwell
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Environment Agency
Contact organisation web site http://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
No
Project picture

Project summary

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The River Avon is one of the most important river systems in the UK, supporting internationally and nationally important habitats and species. The river is designated as the River Avon System Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The SSSI covers the River Avon, its major tributaries and parts of the floodplain. The River Till, a tributary of the River Wylye, is designated as a separate SSSI. Habitats associated with the river include swamp, wet woodland and wet grassland habitats. The River Avon System SSSI and River Till SSSI are also designated internationally through the Habitats Directive as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The SAC supports internationally rare and threatened species. The lower reaches of the River Avon and its floodplain, one of the largest expanses of unimproved floodplain grazing marsh in Britain, are designated as the Avon Valley (Bickton to Christchurch) SSSI. The area is also a Ramsar site and a Special Protection Area (SPA). It supports a complex mosaic of wetland habitats including fens, mires, wet grassland, wet woodland and unimproved floodplain grassland. Important species include populations of breeding and over-wintering wetland birds, and rare wetland plants and insects. A strategy was developed to determine the issues affecting the river's geomorphological functioning and associated condition of the various designations. Based on this strategy, the River Avon Restoration Project was developed to identify measures to restore the river on a reach-by-reach basis. The Environment Agency agreed with Natural England to undertake the more complex measures and reaches, with the Project Board supporting project partners and other interest groups to put in place less complex measures where required. The River Avon Restoration Project is primarily a catchment-scale river restoration strategy. However, some of the individual completed projects can also be considered as delivering Natural Flood Management (NFM) benefits. This is because they are principally Working with Natural Processes (WWNP), creating a more naturally connected and functioning river and floodplain.

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Catchment and subcatchment



Site

Name Avon
WFD water body codes
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name
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 2011
Works started
Works completed
Project completed
Total cost category
Total cost (k€) £4.3m
"£" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Wessex Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid

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
Monitoring



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology Channel pattern/planform
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project Landscape enhancement


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Lowering of embankments, Removal of embankments
Planform / Channel pattern
Other
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)
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

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Supplementary Information

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