Case study:River Hogsmill Restoration Project

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Location: 51° 23' 12", -0° 16' 10"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Urban
Country England
Main contact forename Toni
Main contact surname Scarr
Main contact user ID User:Ascarr
Contact organisation Environment Agency
Contact organisation web site http://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/EEBC/
Partner organisations Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Rosebery Housing Association, Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency, the Big Lottery Fund, Surrey County Council
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
No
Hogsmill in flood just following works

Project summary

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River Hogsmill restoration project

Creating a better place to live Reference:SRB06/PR080 Better living place

Completion: 20th July 2006

The completion of a £230,000 improvement project on a section of the Hogsmill Open Space and river near the Watersedge Housing Estate in Epsom and Ewell, has been achieved due to a highly successful partnership.

Local residents teamed up with Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Rosebery Housing Association, the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency, the Big Lottery Fund, Surrey County Council, the Royal Borough of Kingston and the Lower Mole Countryside Management Project to achieve the most dramatic and positive results! The project has given a new lease of life to the site delivering improved access, with new paths, a new footbridge and a better environment for wildlife through flood defence improvements to the Hogsmill River.

But the project is not a recent innovation, in 2001 local residents were asked what improvements they would most like to see regarding their local environment and a strong message came back that people wanted improved access along the Hogsmill Open Space and across the Bonesgate Stream. Rosebery Housing Association and the Watersedge Action Group approached Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and the Environment Agency and the Hogsmill Improvement Project was born. This quickly led to the inclusion of other partners and the formation of the ‘Friends of the Hogsmill’; and it was soon realized that such a large area of open space needed many stakeholders who could all contribute – and that’s just what they all did!

To improve access and to ensure good community involvement the Countryside Agency were approached and a successful application for ‘Doorstep Green’ status was made. This resulted in a ‘Big Lottery Fund’ grant of up to £55,000 which has allowed for the construction of a new path running along the whole length of the site with new entrances and seats along the route.

A new Footbridge to replace the existing unsafe stepping stones across the Bonesgate Stream has been purchased using £25,000 of funds awarded by the ‘Living Spaces’ Lottery fund and is due for installation later this month. A culvert and new section of path linking the site of the new bridge to the Watersedge Estate has already been constructed by volunteers from the Lower Mole Countryside Management Project.

The Hogsmill River is an important wildlife refuge and has great recreational value, but was perceived by many as run down and a shadow of its former self. In places it was steep-sided, concrete-lined, crossed by service pipes and strewn with litter. Despite this, the river which originates as a chalk stream in Ewell still provides a home to fish such as stone loach, minnows and bullhead and if nature lovers are lucky, they can see one of the kingfishers which live along the river.

The Environment Agency has contributed £130,000 to restore the river and make it a more visible and accessible area for local residents to enjoy with improvements for wildlife and flood defenses.

Monitoring surveys and results

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The benefits of the Environment Agency river restoration work include:

  • An improved river that will attract new wildlife and become a focal point of interest for the local community and which can be used by local schools as an educational resource.
  • Creation of a meander and backwater in a previously straightened river, which will improve the habitat for fish.
  • The concrete bed protection on the Bonesgate Stream has been removed which will improve the appearance of the river and the local environment for wildlife.
  • A restored footbridge to complement the adjacent new footbridge and ensuring continued safe access for residents, including wheelchairs and pushchairs.
  • Planting of a wildflower meadow, connecting the existing grassland habitats within the river valley to provide benefits for wildlife and especially butterflies.
  • Cutting back trees in the existing woodland, allowing light in for other plant life to grow diversifying the habitat and supporting more animals such as dragonflies.
  • Local reaction to the improvements has been very positive


The Hogsmill River is an important wildlife refuge and has great recreational value, but was perceived by many as run down and a shadow of its former self. In places it was steep-sided, concrete-lined, crossed by service pipes and strewn with litter. Despite this, the river which originates as a chalk stream in Ewell still provides a home to fish such as stone loach, minnows and bullhead and if nature lovers are lucky, they can see one of the kingfishers which live along the river.

The Environment Agency has contributed to this project to restore the river and make it a more visible and accessible area for local residents to enjoy with improvements for wildlife and flood defenses.

The benefits of the Environment Agency river restoration work include: an improved river that will attract new wildlife and become a focal point of interest for the local community and which can be used by local schools as an educational resource; creation of a meander and backwater in a previously straightened river, which will improve the habitat for fish; the concrete bed protection on the Bonesgate Stream has been removed which will improve the appearance of the river and the local environment for wildlife; a restored footbridge to complement the adjacent new footbridge and ensuring continued safe access for residents, including wheelchairs and pushchairs; planting of a wildflower meadow, connecting the existing grassland habitats within the river valley to provide benefits for wildlife and especially butterflies; cutting back trees in the existing woodland, allowing light in for other plant life to grow diversifying the habitat and supporting more animals such as dragonflies.

Lessons learnt

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Image gallery


The River Hogsmill at Watersedge - February 2007
The River Hogsmill at Watersedge - August 2010
The River Hogsmill at Watersedge - October 2009
backwater created by remeander of river
view from a bridge
kingfisher branch
view upstream
upstream photo
openning day
ShowHideAdditionalImage.png


Catchment and subcatchment

Catchment

River basin district Thames
River basin London

Subcatchment

River name Hogsmill
Area category 10 - 100 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 100 - 200 m
Maximum altitude (m) 192
192 m
0.192 km
19,200 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Suburban
Waterbody ID GB106039017440



Other case studies in this subcatchment: Bonesgate Phase 2, Elmbridge Meadows, Hogsmill River Connectivity Project, Hogsmill Sewage Treatment Works phase 1, Moor Lane Allotments, Three Bridge, Kingston


Site

Name Hogsmill
WFD water body codes GB106039017440
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name Hogsmill
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology Actively meandering
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations Hogsmill Local Nature Reserve
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), bullhead (Cottus gobio), minnow, stone loach
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use Parklands garden
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
Works started
Works completed
Project completed 2006/07/20
Total cost category 100 - 500 k€
Total cost (k€) 130,000
130,000 k€
130,000,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Environment Agency

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

Supplementary funding information

The Environment Agency has contributed £130,000

total cost estimates:

  • Item Base Cost Budget Cost
  • General Clearance £47,200 £56,640
  • Tree Works £16,000 £19,200
  • LB Re-profiling £18,900 £22,680
  • RB Top of Bank Re-profiling £8,600 £10,320
  • RB Low Level Footpaths Re-profiling £9,500 £11,400
  • Wildlife Pond £18,100 £21,720
  • New River Meander £24,500 £29,400
  • New Backwater £12,000 £14,400
  • Footpaths (tarmac or similar) – 450m £24,200 £29,040
  • Footpaths (gravel or similar) - 1930m £44,800 £53,760
  • Kingston Station Footpath - 200m £44,800 £53,760
  • Bonesgate Stream Curved Bridge £24,200 £29,040
  • Playground Bridge £23,600 £28,320
  • Picnic Area £2,900 £3,480
  • Lighting £7,000 £8,400
  • General Planting £10,000 £12,000

Subtotal £403,560 Design and contract administration 15.0% £26,606 Overheads and profit 12.5% £22,172 Adjustment -7.5% -£13,303 Total (rounded up) £440,000



Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Flood risk management
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project improving a local park


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Planting, Habitat enhancement, Tree management, Cut back of trees
Planform / Channel pattern Creation of meanders, Creation of wooden deflectors, Creation of an island
Other
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement) Restoration of a footbridge
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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