Case study:Trees on the River Uck

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Location: 50° 57' 59", 0° 5' 45"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site
Themes Environmental flows and water resources, Flood risk management, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - agriculture, Land use management - forestry, Social benefits, Water quality, Urban
Country England
Main contact forename Sandra
Main contact surname Manning-Jones
Main contact user ID User:SandraMJ
Contact organisation Trees on the River Uck
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations Environment Agency, Woodland Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
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Project summary

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Aims and objectives

TRUck Vision

To develop a pilot project that highlights the role of natural riparian and floodplain intervention measures in managing flood risk in a discreet river catchment (the River Uck) through delivery of natural riparian and floodplain interventions such as wet woodland.

Subsidiary Vision

To document and provide evidence of the ecosystem service and biodiversity benefits accrued from applying a naturalistic landscape-scale flood risk management strategy to the Uck catchment.

Aims of the TRUck Project To form an innovative partnership between Sussex Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, Woodland Trust and other partners that delivers the project vision. To deliver the aims of the Water Framework Directive and Ouse Catchment Flood Management Plan through natural floodplain enhancements in order to:

       * Help decrease velocities of flood flows by naturally increasing the in-channel and floodplain roughness of the Uck catchment. 
       * Help decrease unnecessary drainage and run-off from the catchment upstream of Uckfield.
       * Help increase the carrying capacity of washlands and the water storage capacity of the Uck.
       * Help all water bodies in the project area to achieve ‘good’ ecological and chemical status.

To engage the public, landowners, farmers and stakeholders in the process of promoting good practice catchment management.

To help others to have a better understanding of natural flooding and river processes and their implications for catchment management.



  • Identify suitable sites for Catchment Riparian Intervention Measures (CRIMs) and floodplain habitat and natural flood storage enhancements through the analysis, interpretation and collation of research and GIS data.
  • Produce a project plan outlining timings and focus areas for the project.
  • Support and facilitate the appropriate installation of CRIMs and other riparian enhancements such as floodplain woodland.
  • Set up an effective monitoring system along the river to assess the effects of TRUck project work.


  • Promote natural processes and naturalistic river and floodplain restoration methods and encourage others to implement them in appropriate locations.
  • Promote the TrUck project, its outputs and landowner offers (such as tree planting) through literature, events, communications and other media.
  • Provide an accessible and informative project ‘hub’ and public face for the TrUck project materials.
  • Hold stakeholder and community engagement events, and a project presence at other events where appropriate.
  • Produce a project summary using TrUck as a case study of best practice and lessons learnt from project delivery.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Image gallery

Trees on the River Uck Project catchment map
Natural flood management (River Uck)
Wood in rivers (River Uck)

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district South East
River basin Adur and Ouse


River name River Uck at Uckfield
Area category 10 - 100 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category Less than 100 m
Maximum altitude (m) 69
69 m
0.069 km
6,900 cm
Dominant geology Siliceous
Ecoregion Great Britain
Dominant land cover Suburban
Waterbody ID GB107041012660


WFD water body codes GB107041012660
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name River Uck at Uckfield
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
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Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
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Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
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Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

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Project started
Works started
Works completed
Project completed
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Total cost (k€)
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Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design
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Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure Impoundments (not hydropower), Flood risk management, Land drainage
Hydromorphology Continuity of sediment transport, Quantity & dynamics of flow, Substrate conditions, Width & depth variation
Biology Fish
Other reasons for the project Ecosystem services


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Introducing large woody debris
Floodplain / River corridor Creation of wet woodland, Tree planting
Planform / Channel pattern
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

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Physico-chemical quality elements

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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

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Supplementary Information

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