Case study:River Colne Riparian Tree Planting

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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes
Country England
Main contact forename Matt
Main contact surname Butcher
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Contact organisation
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Parent multi-site project
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Project summary

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The River Colne is not meeting its WFD objectives for aquatic plants, and the fish status has recently deteriorated from high to good. Riparian shade mapping from the Keeping Rivers Cool project and walk over surveys showed that the rive would benefit from increased shade at a number of locations. Working with landowners, Essex & Suffolk River Trust identified a number of sites where tree planting could be undertaken, and planted trees at one suitable site.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Riparian trees provide shade, which not only keeps the water cooler, but also helps control excessive weed and algal growth. Cooler water not only contains more oxygen, but many fish and invertebrates are sensitive to increasing temperature. This is likely to be exacerbated as temperatures increase due to climate change. In the future the tree roots and woody debris from fallen branches and tree trunks will provide important in-channel habitat and flow diversity, providing refuge for fish and invertebrates from both predators and high flows. Trees also help stabilise the banks, reducing erosion as well as improving infiltration and intercepting pollution and sediment. Reduced sediment transfer prevents the smothering of important gravel habitat, and can reduce pesticide and nutrient run off. Tree planting therefore not only provides important habitat but improves water quality and can reduce the need for expensive river maintenance.

Lessons learnt

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Close liaison with permitting and enforcement colleagues is essential to establish suitable restoration sites, and ensure that flood risk is not increased.


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Catchment and subcatchment



Site

Name
WFD water body codes GB105037041330
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)
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Average bankfull channel depth (m)
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Project background

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Project started
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Works completed
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Total cost (k€)
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Funding sources

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design 5000 - 10000 k€ 7000
7,000 k€
7,000,000 €
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance
Monitoring



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
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Measures

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Floodplain / River corridor
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Monitoring

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Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
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Monitoring documents



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Supplementary Information

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