River restoration

River Restoration

With an impressive 30 years’ worth of experience delivering river restoration projects around the UK, including many on the most revered, protected and prestigious chalk river environments on the planet, we really do know what it takes to deliver successful river restoration works.

Middle section of the 800m restored reach of Plunket Greene’s Bourne rivulet, one year after completion.

From our earliest professional project delivered on the River Wylye in 1989, the company has gone on to amass an impressive CV of river restoration projects including major works on some of the world’s most prestigious chalk streams and their tributaries such as the Anton, Hampshire Avon’s ‘Royalty fishery’, Frank Sawyer’s ‘Dry Fly Fishing Association’ on the upper Wiltshire Avon, Plunket Greene’s Bourne Rivulet, the Wiltshire Bourne and rivers Colne, Dever, Ebble, Frome, Itchen, Kennet, Lambourn, Meon, Nadder, Nar, Piddle, Test, Wandle, Wylye, plus many other lesser-known but equally valuable watercourses.

Referred to as ‘the River Doctors’ by celebrated author and ‘The Times’ correspondent Brian Clarke in his 1999 article ‘River Doctor’s to the rescue, our highly experienced team of professionals provides a full range of services from appraisal through to the design and construction of river restoration works.

Our understanding of the importance and need for natural processes, fluvial geo-morphology and hydrology in the planning, design and delivery of river restoration works, informs the complimentary skills we offer in the following disciplines:

Restored mill leat on the upper Itchen
  • Fluvial geomorphology in design
  • Sediment continuity/connectivity issues
  • Ecological and fisheries aspects of river restoration including fish passes
  • Return periods and channel forming discharges
  • River restoration master planning and landscape design
  • Hydro-morphological assessment and restoration for the Water Framework Directive (WFD)
  • Regulatory enforcement in designated aquatic environments.
  • Flood risk mitigation
  • Tree management
  • Weir removal
  • Concrete river channels & de-culverting
Restored spawning carrier and salmonid nursery – Upper Itchen

Our ‘Unique Selling Point’ is the offer of  a seamless ‘design/build’ service where, over the years, our in-house  ‘Operations teams’ have delivered a wide range of river restoration projects designed to enhance the ecological potential of rivers at both the catchment and local scale. Our projects include restoration of natural flows, optimising velocity and habitat diversity in engineered and degraded chalk rivers, mill leat restoration, floodplain reconnection, channel realignment, reconnecting rivers to groundwater, and rewilding of degraded rivers.

We were also commissioned to deliver a series of ‘design/build’ projects for a range of river restoration sites within the Hampshire Avon catchment as part of the ‘River Avon Restoration Project’ (RARP); these projects were focussed on delivering WFD (Water Framework Directive) and SSSI/SAC (Sites of Special Scientific Interest/Special Areas of Conservation) objectives. This project won the prestigious River Restoration Centres UK Rivers Prize in 2017.

We are here to help and can offer over-the-phone guidance on receipt of your site photos, so please do not hesitate to contact us for informed professional advice.