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content@managingwater.co.uk Managing & Maintaining our water channels


below: Post-restoration channel sinuosity achieved by the installation of lateral berms. Hydromorphological formulae have been used to calculate meander wavelength and the spacing of restoration features.


“creating fish refuge areas by re- connecting floodplain drainage ditches to the river”


above: Straightened river channel at Swanton Morley pre-restoration


One of the missing features along this reach is tree cover. The only exception is around the meander loop, which has been untouched for many years, and mature willow and alder line the old course of the river. The majority of these have been retained, but in order to enable access for machinery selective coppicing has taken


place. All this material has been re-used as woody debris, and to create a brush wood berm in an area where plant is unable to safely access. The lack of tree cover impacts severely on the fish within the reach and may contribute to high predation rates as well as affecting recruitment. Later this year selective planting of native species will take place on the open stretches of channel to complement the restoration features.


Another aspect of the scheme has been to create fish refuge areas by re-connecting floodplain drainage ditches to the river. These will provide valuable shelter for fish and other wildlife during high flow events.


left: Silted meander loop cut off by bypass channel in the 1950s


below: Meander immediately after restoration.


As a result of past drainage activities large spoil embankments exist either side of the river. These prevent the majority of high


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