Chalk Stream Restoration

Today I’ve been helping out with some stream restoration work, at the headwaters of the River Hull, one of the UK’s most northerly chalk streams. After a long period with low water levels, the stream had become silted up and was turning into a marsh area. The plan was to dredge out a channel down the middle and stabilise the banks with coir logs. The end result will be a clear chalk stream, with scope for far greater biodiversity.

Digging out a new channel

Coir logs stabilise the bends

The new course of the stream was all carefully worked out, with coir logs installed on the outside of bends, where erosion would be greatest, and deeper pools in places for fish to congregate. Inevitably, it involved some short-term disruption to the wildlife. Small brown trout got caught in temporary pools created by the digger and had to be rescued and taken to deeper water.

A rescued brown trout. It was quickly returned to the water.

For the background to this project, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-25477188 (December 2013).

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