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River Kennet Habitat Improvement Video
As Joint professional category winners in the 2014 WTT Conservation awards (Sponsored by Thames Water) - the Eastridge Estate habitat works project has a lot of interesting things to share. Video is often far more efficient at conveying these messages than lots of technical documentation:
The video above shows some of the works undertaken over this substantial section of the River Kennet which not only created a lot of new spawning, juvenile and adult trout habitat (and a lot of additional river corridor flora and fauna) - but connected huge sections of upstream and downstream habitat that had previously been kept separate for fish migration.
The project had to improve habitat and reduce long impounded (dammed) sections whilst at the same time retaining enough vertical head of water in certain places to be able to flood the SSSI water meadows adjacent to the river. They did this by introducing a series of gravel riffles to retain enough head - but to energise and diversify the flow within the introduced habitat.
Coupling this type of activity with lowering the banks (and narrowing the channel where appropriate) has also increased the connectivity of the main channel with its flood plain - providing a place for floodwater to spill out safely onto wetland (potentially instead of spilling out of banks further downstream in people's properties and businesses at Hungerford and Newbury).
Main project Consultants were Windrush AEC in partnership with Eastridge Estate and the Environment Agency. Video produced by Cinepic productions.