Vitacress Chalk Stream Creation


St. Mary Bourne, Hampshire

Summer 2018

Vitacress Chalk Stream Creation

Aquascience were tasked, by Vitacress, to turn a disused cress bed into a natural chalk stream, replacing a soon to be redundant underground pipe. The 150m channel would connect a newly constructed valve station and an existing stream, part of the Bourne Rivulet. The aim of this project was to create a natural functioning watercourse with diverse morphological features and a characteristic chalk stream environment. The 150m channel required the excavation and removal of 350m3 of material, some of which was reused for the channel batters and landscaping.

Upon creation of the new channel, native chalk stream marginal and aquatic plants were imported from our aquatic plant nursery. The planting scheme was designed to enhance the new habitats and stabilise the river banks, helping to establish the new channel.

Carrying out this project required meticulous water level management, using pumps and valves in order to prevent a pollution event. Aquascience also installed a new sluice gate to the channel and created some rock roll berms, allowing for better future water level management by the Vitacress staff.

On top of the newly constructed chalk stream, Aquascience were also tasked with creating an attenuation pond to help alleviate flood and pollution risk at the Vitacress site. Construction of the pond involved the excavation of a further 300m3 of material and careful planning to make best use of the space without compromising any underground pipes or culverts. A small overflow channel was also built, ensuring dirty water would fill the pond rather than entering the Bourne Rivulet and causing pollution.

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