Case study:River Nene Nature Improvement Area
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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||http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140605090108/http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/biodiversity/funding/nia/projects/nenevalley.aspx|
|Themes||Economic aspects, Fisheries, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Social benefits, Urban|
|Main contact forename||Simon|
|Main contact surname||Whitton|
|Main contact user ID|
|Contact organisation||River Restoration Centre|
|Contact organisation web site||http://www.therrc.co.uk|
|Partner organisations||Natural England, Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire|
|Parent multi-site project|
| This is a parent project
encompassing the following
What is the Nene Valley NIA?
Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) were introduced by the government’s Natural Environment White Paper (June 2011) to “enhance and reconnect nature on a significant scale”. The Nene Valley NIA includes the River Nene and its main tributaries, plus a 3km radius on either side, from Daventry to Peterborough (41,350 hectares in total), and contains a fragmented network of statutory and non- statutory sites, such as SSSIs and SAPs. At 161km, it is the tenth longest river in the UK, and, being navigable from the Wash to Northampton (142km), is highly managed with locks and other infrastructure.
It is located in the UK’s second largest growth area and is therefore exposed to significant development pressure. These include built development, increasing inappropriate public access, and competition for water resources. Land management practices threaten ecosystem services and the connectivity of habitats.
Aims and objectives: The NIA will reverse the decline in biodiversity and restore the ecological network in the Nene Valley. It will help meet the challenges of a growing population, changing climate, and need to produce food while realising complimentary benefits that create a naturally functioning interlinked landscape. The NIA has 5 objectives, including: enhancing public access and awareness of the NIA; supporting development which will benefit the natural environment; engaging with farmers and improving ecosystems services. The Nene NIA is currently funded from 2013-2015 by Natural England.
Objective 3 of the NIA is to “improve the ecological status of the river and enhance ecosystem service provision”. Much of the Nene is in Water Framework Directive poor ecological status due to diffuse pollution, water abstraction, and heavily modified river morphology due to channel alteration for navigation and flood risk management. These issues account for approximately 75% of the reasons for waterbodies in the Nene catchment failing to meet good status or potential.
The Nene Valley NIA Partnership was formed by its stakeholders to enable a strategic and joined up approach to tackling these issues. The stakeholders form a coalition of experts including new partners and others well established in the valley. These include; River Nene Regional Park, the Environment Agency, the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust and the River Restoration Centre.
Monitoring surveys and results
Under objective 3 of the NIA walkover surveys to assess the habitat of the main Nene have been completed. Walkovers are also used to identify opportunities for habitat restoration. The river’s major tributaries are now being assessed.
So far three projects have been delivered:
- Duston, Northampton: marginal habitat has been improved upstream of St James End Weir.
- Rushton, near Kettering: a 45m-long backwater has been created by excavating part of an old meander loop.
- Orton Lock, Peterborough: an area of bank erosion downstream of the lock has been stabilised by “cutting & hinging” live willow into the scour holes and then adding further brushwood.
Restoration options on the main river are limited due to navigation and flood risk management. Proposed projects include the construction of fish easements on barriers, the excavation/re-connection of backwaters for fish spawning and refuges and improving urban marginal river habitats.
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