River Avon Chisenbury I – chalk stream restoration

Full restoration of an engineered, uniform channel to a favourable condition.

Project Brief

  • Restore an engineered, uniform channel to favourable condition using cutting-edge river restoration techniques;
  • Incorporate key ‘Water Framework Directive’ features using a sustainable design; and
  • Sinuous channel plan-form, variable bed profile, variable substrate types & distribution, variable marginal zones, bio-diverse riparian zone including ponds and wetlands.


The project provided a demonstration site for a suite of restoration techniques including composite geotextile bank revetments.

Site-won willow logs and coppiced hazel mattresses were used to narrow the channel and create a sinuous, flood-friendly angler access.

logs chisenbury compton bridge 1200
In stream willow log features for habitat generation

The creation of in-channel woody debris features, off-line marginal ponds and wetland habitats for invertebrates, amphibians and BAP species were key bio-diversity objectives.

Moorhen eggs Chisenbury compton bridge 1200
A moorhen nest tucked safely away amongst the reed bed

Snails Chisenbury compton bridge 1200
Pond snails in the marginal pond

Trout on chisenbury compton bridge
A trout taken beneath the in-channel willow log feature

“The in-channel works and marginal wetland ponds have added a new dimension to chalk stream restoration. Biodiversity gains have been significant”

Read more about the history of Cain Bio-Engineering and its introduction to river restoration projects, across an impressive array of the UK’s most prestigious chalk streams and their tributaries.

Clients and Partners