Case study:Rother meander reconnection

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Location: 50° 57' 46", -0° 36' 16"
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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - agriculture, Monitoring
Country England
Main contact forename Damon
Main contact surname Block
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Environment Agency
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations River Restoration Centre
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Restored channel shortly after works

Project summary

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Shopham Loop is a section of the river Rother, West Sussex between Coultershaw Bridge and Shopham Bridge. A cut was created in the 18th century to bypass the meander and enable passage of boats upstream. However after navigation ceased, the locks were removed and the cut became the main river course with the meander (Shopham Loop) remaining as a backwater. Land use change to an intensive agricultural regime in turn led to shallower soils and increased siltation and the loop entrance became blocked with deposits preventing any flow from the Rother.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Catchment and subcatchment

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(affects all case studies in this subcatchment)


River basin district South East
River basin Arun and Western Streams


River name Western Rother
Area category 100 - 1000 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category 200 - 500 m
Maximum altitude (m) 241
241 m
0.241 km
24,100 cm
Dominant geology Calcareous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Arable and Horticulture
Waterbody ID GB107041012810

Other case studies in this subcatchment: Western Rother Fishery Habitat Enhancement


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Name Shopham Loop
WFD water body codes GB107041012810
WFD (national) typology Low, Medium, Calcareous
WFD water body name Western Rother
Pre-project morphology Single channel, High width:depth, Embanked
Reference morphology Sinuous
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body Yes
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology Artificially regulated
Dominant substrate Silt, Gravel
River corridor land use Urban, Intensive agriculture
Average bankfull channel width category 5 - 10 m
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category 2 - 5 m
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s) 4.97
4.97 m³/s
4,970 l/s
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

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Reach length directly affected (m) 1000 m
1 km
100,000 cm
Project started 2000/03/01
Works started
Works completed 2004/09/01
Project completed
Total cost category
Total cost (k€) 580 k€
580,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources

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

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Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology Structure & condition of riparian zones, Channel pattern/planform, Quantity & dynamics of flow
Biology Fish
Other reasons for the project Watercourse and floodplain restoration


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Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Re-grading, Planting, Riffle creation
Floodplain / River corridor Floodplain reconnection, Creation of backwaters, Creation of pond
Planform / Channel pattern Re-instatement of old course, protect old lock from erosion.
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)


Hydromorphological quality elements

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quality elements
Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Structure & condition of riparian zones Yes Yes Improvement
Channel pattern/planform Yes Yes Improvement

Biological quality elements

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quality elements
Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative
Invertebrates Yes Yes No Yes No Inconclusive
Fish No Yes No Yes Yes Improvement
Macrophytes No Yes No Yes No Improvement

Physico-chemical quality elements

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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

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Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

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Image gallery

Shopham Loop1.jpg
Img 6286r.JPG
Img 6291.jpg

Additional documents and videos

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Additional links and references

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Link Description Environment Agency WFD Classification - See P.190. studies/rother%20at%20shopham%20loop%20final.pdf RRC Case Study - Shopham Loop Versions (Secure)/1.9 Shopham Loop.pdf RRC Manual of Techniques best practice case study Shopham Report FINAL.pdf RRC report on the monitoring of the project - analysis & evaluation 2003 Geomorph Basis Outline Design Shopham Loop.pdf Geomorphological Basis of the Outline Design for the Shopham Loop Restoration 2012-01-24.pdf#page=110 Shopham case study in RRC's monitoring document 'PRAGMO' (2011)

Supplementary Information

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