Hampshire Avon Backwater Restoration

 Before works: The backwater was heavily silted and blocked in areas by marginal vegetation

Before works: The backwater was heavily silted and blocked in areas by marginal vegetation

 Mid works: Vegetation and silt were excavated from the backwater and transported outside of the floodplain using low ground pressure plant.

Mid works: Vegetation and silt were excavated from the backwater and transported outside of the floodplain using low ground pressure plant.

Hampshire Avon Backwater Restoration:

Ecolibrium were awarded a contract on behalf of the Wessex Chalk Streams and Rivers Trust to undertake the rehabilitation and improvement of 270 metres of a Backwater channel on the banks of the Hampshire Avon.

 Historically there had been a recognisable backwater at this location between the island and the west bank of the Avon since the mid 20th Century, and offered a good refuge for small fry and a winter fishery for course fish.

 In the early 2000’s the island was blocked off with a flow deflector, subsequently leading to the channel becoming heavily silted and choked with marginal vegetation and Willow tree re-generation. In low summer flows the channel held very little water and was unfavourable for a variety of fish species.

 

 What did we do?

  1. Removed in channel tree blockages.

  2. Created a temporary crossing point for plant to access the island.

  3. De-silted approximately 270m of the backwater down to the existing gravel River bed.

  4. Transported and spread silt outside of the flood plain.

  5. Removed the existing flow deflector that was impeding the flow into the backwater channel.

  6. Built and installed a wooden footbridge so that the island can be maintained for angler access.

  7. Created approximately a 200m woodland trail with three fishing swims for angler access onto the main Hampshire Avon.

 

 What were the outcomes?

  1. The channel is now re-connected to the main River and will provide additional habitat for a variety of aquatic life forms including fish, invertebrates, amphibians and water fowl.

  2. The new channel offers a fishable resource during the winter months, when the main Avon is in flood.

  3. A footbridge now allows access to the island so that the woodland trail and the new fishing swims can be maintained.

 Mid works: The extent of in channel silt and vegetation

Mid works: The extent of in channel silt and vegetation

 The new footbridge now allows the angling club to be able to maintain and fish from the island.

The new footbridge now allows the angling club to be able to maintain and fish from the island.