Case study:River Tutt Restoration Project

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Location: 54° 3' 50", -1° 27' 5"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site
Themes Habitat and biodiversity
Country England
Main contact forename Laura
Main contact surname Watson
Main contact user ID User:Laura.watson
Contact organisation Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Staveley Nature Reserve, scrape creation

Project summary

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Under the Water Framework Directive, the River Tutt is classified as being heavily modified and as having only Moderate Ecological Potential (2015, EA). It fails on the basis of fish habitat and numbers. The Tutt is part of YWT’s River Ure Living Landscape. Living Landscapes were developed to create robust ecological networks, enabling species to adapt to climate change. They align with the principles of the Natural Environment White Paper, which advocates ‘more, bigger, better and joined’ natural spaces. The River Tutt is straightened, over-deepened and the banks re-sectioned, with little heterogeneity in the flow and a lack of features such as deposits and areas of erosion. Water quality is poor, with high sediment after rain. In many locations intensively managed land runs right up to the river bank. A feasibility study, habitat survey and fluvial audit carried out by YWT and Middlemarch Environmental (Jan and Feb 2015) identified a comprehensive set of solutions that were available to improve the Tutt’s ecological quality. YWT intend to use a phased approach to implement these measures, working in partnership with the Swale and Ure Drainage Board, who manage the river, and with other riparian landowners. This project would constitute one phase of these works. It would decrease sedimentation, increase connectivity and mitigate the impact of historic modifications on the ecological potential of the water by carrying out a range of works such as bankside fencing, tree planting and management, creation of buffer strips, installation of cattle drinking areas, bank re-profiling and willow spiling. YWT hopes to hear from riparian landowners in the catchment who might be keen to have such works carried out on their land which could be funded through a YWT managed project.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Humber
River basin Swale, Ure, Nidd and Upper Ouse


River name River Tutt Catchment (Trib of Ure)
Area category 10 - 100 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category Less than 100 m
Maximum altitude (m) 99
99 m
0.099 km
9,900 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB104027064100


Name River Tutt Catchment
WFD water body codes GB104027064100
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name River Tutt
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body Yes
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present Yes
Invasive species present Yes
Species of interest European Otter, bats (noctule, pipistrelle, brown long-eared, daubenton's)
Dominant hydrology
Dominant substrate
River corridor land use arable farming, Improved/semi-improved grassland/pasture
Average bankfull channel width category 2 - 5 m
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category 0.5 - 2 m
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 2015/01/01
Works started 2015/01/01
Works completed
Project completed
Total cost category
Total cost (k€)
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Environment Agency, Catchment Partnership Action Fund

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

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Biology Fish
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor Excavation for floodplain creation
Planform / Channel pattern Flow deflectors, Creation of backwater
Other Tree planting
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)


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
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Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

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Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

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Supplementary Information

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