Successes River Quality Improved Chemistry: Good or better improved from 55% (England) and 86% (Wales) in 1990 to 80% and 95% respectively in 2009 Biology – Good or better improved from 63% (England) and 80% (Wales) in 1990 to 73% and 87% respectively in 2009 Bathing Water Quality Improved The mandatory pass rate for the current BWD improved from 78% in 1990 to 98% in 2010. For the revised BWD, more than 90% of bathing waters are expected to meet the ‘sufficient’ classification or better in 2010. Pollution Incidents related to Sewerage Reduced Since 1990 around 7000 CSOs have been improved. In 2010 352 intermittent discharges were reported to have had an unsatisfactory impact on the environment – down from 5000 in 2000. We’re restoring sustainable abstraction at 315 of our most important conservation sites, and our flood risk management work had created 695 ha of BAP habitat by 2010. Water Industry: Figures from AMP4, 2005 to 2010, for capital costs and length of river improved for different policy drivers are as follows: Policy Driver Capital Cost (£m) Length of River Maintained or Improved (km) Main Determinand Improved Freshwater Fish 584 856 Ammonia UWWTD 412 1088 P Habitats & CRoW 437 1132 Mainly P some Ammonia/BOD Intermittents (CSOs) 558 847 Mainly Aesthetics some Ammonia/BOD The return of the otter to most of England is one of the major conservation success stories of the last 30 years. The main reason for this increase has been the reduction in levels of toxic pesticides, but the improvements in water quality and consequent increase in fish stocks have probably played a significant part. The agency&apos;s fifth otter survey in England examined more than 3,300 river sites between July last year and March 2010. Likely sites are searched for signs of otter presence such as paw prints or spraint - droppings. It found more than half bore signs of the animals (59%), up from a third eight years ago and a ten-fold increase on 30 years ago (6% in 1977-79). East Anglia and the Thames have shown the greatest rate of growth since the last survey in 2002.
Even within a small set back along Barking creek – one of our surveys found thousands of bass feeding on a small 0.5 hectare setback
Cut or at least reorientate to present the 3 solutions
The River Quaggy restoration Taking an ecosystem approach can deliver integrated solutions for improved watercourses as shown here. The London Rivers Action Plan project at Sutcliffe Park, Greenwich, is a good illustration of partners working together to deliver a range of benefits which contribute to health, well being, society and the environment. The re-naturalisation of the River Quaggy (a tributary of the Thames) has created wetlands with cycleways, footpaths and open spaces, and has become a valuable community asset and a haven for wildlife and provided flood risk management benefits. Since opening in 2004, visits to the Park have increased by 73%.
Chinbrook Meadows, Lewisham - This provides multifunctional space created through redevelopment in the local area and organisations working in partnership What is good enough? Restoring the natural state and functioning of the river and the riverine environment It is not just in channel improvements but we includes the associated habitats and wetlands So a large variety of management activities including reconnecting river channels and their floodplain It is the whole river catchment from source to sea It is not necessarily a return to how the rivers were 300 hundred years ago but creating quality habitats that recognise their current surroundings. And does mean we can not improve our rivers right through the heard of our cities and countryside
Brookmill Park - Lewisham Considering concrete channels, culverts and other similar flood defence structures only have a limited time span before they require repairs and eventually replacement, the management cost of this large infrastructure has become a main concern. A recent study carried out by the Environment Agency has highlighted that ‘like for like’ replacement of all structures on the Ravensbourne that are not owned by them could cost £193 million5. The current estimate is that these assets have a residual life of between 15 and 30 years with regular maintenance6. These estimates are broad brush; however, they do provide an indication of the large sums of money involved. With climate change causing wetter winters and hotter drier summers, we have come to the realisation that concrete channels and culverts are a vulnerable and inappropriate solution to the demands and potentials of our rivers. Because the prediction of climate change impacts will never be exact, flexibility and adaptability of the river environment is fundamental to flood management. Bringing back space for water and vegetation is now considered as the best approach to bring back flexibility when managing flood risk but also when trying to re-establish river habitats as well as cutting down on the soaring temperatures, increasing pollution levels and the need for even more air conditioning7.
Step/Stage 1 – Collection and collation of information: to address the need to understand and promote best practice in RR across Europe by providing communication platform
Dave Baxter EA
Practical, cost effective measures:
The challenge of modified waters
Head of Catchment Management
7000 Combined Sewerage Overflows
have been improved
Bathing water quality improved from
78% to 98%
Chemistry improved from 55% to 95%
Biology improved from 63% to 73%
Otter populations have increased ten-fold
in the last 30 years
7000 Combined Sewerage Overflows
have been improved and we’ve restored
sustainable abstraction at 315 of our
most important conservation sites
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Less stringent objectives?
Evidence and engagement will be key
Meeting the Challenge?
Make it relevant to local development
Value the system, not just “Good”
Translating our evidence
• Not just sharing data
Building delivery partnerships
• Not just good status
Walkovers and 3rd
• Follow-up breaches
Learn and test approaches
• Catchment plans
• Innovative delivery
River Restoration – achieving ‘Good Ecological Potential’
Long Preston Deeps, near Settle was classified as ‘heavily modified’ due to flood defences constraining the channel. High
flows on the River Ribble in early 2011 punched a hole through a flood bank providing a rare opportunity to put in place a
sustainable restoration solution for a 200m section of the river.
Work and associated benefits include:
• Removing the breached flood embankment and creating a new one further back to allow
the river to reconnect to the flood plain.
• Creating chutes to increase flood storage and habitat whilst preventing erosion
• Reconnecting historical natural features.
• Creating wetland scrapes and wet woodland planting creating habitat and shade for the
• Installing fencing to control livestock grazing and allow natural regeneration of flood plain.
• Redistribution of rock boulders that were no longer providing erosion protection to create
river bed variation.
• More land now within Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme.
• Decreased siltation.
Working in partnership
The project worked in partnership with land owners and utilised the established Long
Preston Deeps Wet Grassland Group - the group includes partners such as, RSPB, Natural
England, The Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust, North Yorkshire County Council, local
landowners, The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, The Ribble Catchment
The works had to be completed in a very short timescale.
Major constraints that were overcome include:
•Balancing legal duties (CDM – CDM 2007) with the
timescales and ecological constraints of the site.
What’s next This is just one small section of the 7km of the River Ribble that has been
improved and it is hoped that this will act as a demonstration site to show other land
owners and groups what can be achieved by working with rather than against, a river.
We will be proving updates on the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust website and feeding
this work into the WFD Ribble Pilot.
The RESTORE project is made possible with the contribution of the LIFE+
financial instrument of the European Community
partnership for sharing knowledge &
promoting best practice on river restoration
and works in partnership with
• Limited awareness of planners and
• Insufficient access to best practice
• Geographical variation in understanding
Consensus on river restoration good
practices to support European policy
Some local authorities get it – but why?
Some local authorities get it - why?
Support policy makers and practitioners
to make more informed decisions
• 1. Consensus on river restoration good
- What is good river restoration practice
and how is this needed by different
• 2. Communication of information to key
- Engage stakeholders, establish
networks and build information resource
• 3. Stimulate integrated catchment
Solutions and Way
36 events in over 10 countries
next two include a CIWEM event in Lille, spatial planning event in
Arnhem and the RRC conference in Nottingham in April
1200 persons engaged through events
500 case studies on the WIKI database
90,000 persons through project outreach
International River Restoration Conference
to rivers brings
Eg Mayesbrook -
£4m project, £27m
benefit to quality of
lives & economic
Cycle Plans - Goals
The healthiest water environment that society
can sustainably achieve by 2021 and 2027
Clear framework for decision making
Presented in a more user-friendly way
Wide debate on appropriate responses
Integrated with other water planning process
Appropriate mix of national and local
More naturally functioning catchments
Better balance for people and wildlife