New film: Reconnecting the River Witham to its floodplain

The Wild Trout Trust and the Environment Agency have just launched a film showing the benefits of floodplain reconnection for the River Witham at Manthorpe near Grantham.

Reconnecting a river to its floodplain can create wonderful places for wildlife and, where landowners agree, allow storage of water to reduce flood risk elsewhere in the catchment. 

Our short film shows the river a year and a half after 150 metres of flood embankment were removed to allow this stretch of the Witham to spread out on to its floodplain again.

In a partnership project with the landowner which took more than two years, the EA undertook archaeological research, botanical surveys, and groundwork investigations to understand the water table beneath the site. 

After this preparatory work, WTT became involved to refine the scope of the project, help the EA produce a brief to put out to tender, and finally oversaw the project’s delivery. This included: 

  • Removing 4,000 tonnes of earth to make space for 20,000 cubic metres of water. This earth was re-seeded to create more than 3 hectares of wildflower meadow habitat.
  • Improving 250 metres of river bank with lush, vegetated margins, which now provide improved habitat for rare water voles
  • Placing 500 tonnes of mixed grade stone in the river to carefully rebuild important habitats like gravel riffles, which are used by trout and other species of fish for spawning

Our Conservation Officer Rob Mungovan, who led WTT’s part of this project, says: It’s the connectivity that makes this river feel so different now. The river has its connection to its landscape once again”.

You can watch our whole River Witham Manthorpe Floodplain Reconnection Project film here: