Welland River Restoration

Welland Rivers Trust

Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Spring/Summer 2014

Welland River Restoration

The River Welland in Market Harborough was a highly modified river suffering from an unfavourable Water Framework Directive (WFD) status. In 2014, Aquascience successfully tendered for and won a restoration project spanning 22 weeks and nearly 2km of urban river channel.

The restoration project’s aim was to re-naturalise the overly modified channel. This was performed over several phases including; two impoundment removals, construction of marginal berms, installation of flow deflectors and large woody debris, regrading of river banks, pool and riffle creation and marginal planting schemes.

The result of the project was a much more natural, narrower channel with increased diversity and feature frequency. Removal of impoundments also made the channel passable for migratory fish species. The berms planted with marginal plants established well and created valuable new habitat within the freshwater system.

Some of the challenges involved included managing a large team of staff 120 miles from the office base and working in an urban centre with high numbers of members of the public. Aquascience’s experienced team and strict health and safety policies ensured the project ran smoothly.

The success of the River Welland restoration was highlighted by a second phase of works being carried out by Aquascience later that year.

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