'Let the Dove Flow' - update

Monday, 20th August 2018

WTT Conservation Officer Tim Jacklin continues to manage the team removing some of the 177 weirs on the River Dove in Dovedale, Derbyshire, with the aim of creating better habitat for wildlife including trout and a more natural and sustainable form and function to the river. The project will host a visit from the BBC regional news team on 23rd August.

Before and after photos from a weir removal last week:

River Dove weir before

 

 

Dover weir removal after

This section of the River Dove has 177 weirs and large sections of rock armoured banks, most of which date from the 1920s. The effect of these man-made interventions is to prevent the river from behaving naturally i.e. creating a sinuous channel with variations in depth and eroding and depositing gravel. This results in poor and fragmented river habitat and, although Dovedale has the highest of conservation designations (Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest), it is deemed to be ‘failing’ by Natural England. National Trust ecologist, Chris Wood, describes the current dammed areas of the river as ‘wet deserts, with no food and no variety for wildlife’.

The project is led by the National Trust, who have issued this press release and briefing document

For more detail on why weirs are a problem, read Paul Gaskell’s blog and our library page.

Listen to this podcast with Tim Jacklin interviewed by Andrew Griffiths.