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River Glaven

The River Glaven flows 17 km through one of the most beautiful valleys in England.

Rising from tiny headwaters in lower Bodham and Baconsthorpe the main river begins just below Selbrigg Pond where three streams combine at the outfall. Thereafter it descends wooded hills of glacial debris and passes through lush countryside and picturesque flint villages, before meeting the sea behind the famous shingle spit at Blakeney point.

Check out the river map to the right of this page.

Projects on the River Glaven

All the Norfolk Rivers Trust projects on the Glaven are now underway, with projects at Wiveton, Bayfield, Thornage, Selbrigg, Baconsthorpe and the headwaters either completed, underway, or in the later stages of planning.

The work at Wiveton, where we part-funded an Environment Agency and River Glaven Fishing Association, was completed in Spring 2013.  New gravel riffles have been constructed in the river, and at low tide they improve flow diversity at the site greatly.  The riffles are full of invertebrates and are already being colonised by aquatic plants, so are looking good.  It will be interesting to see if there is enough flow through the gravels to keep them free of silt in the long term.

At Bayfield we hope to begin work on the new river channel around the lake in early summer.  It has taken well over a year to agree a design with the Environment Agency and the council, but all parties now seem to be agreed and we should be able to start digging soon.  This will be especially exciting, as the river currently runs through a tunnel and we will effectively create a brand new stretch of river which we think will be colonised very quickly.  Downstream of the lake we are working with the owners on a project in the meadow upstream of Glandford Ford, currently looking at possible wetland creation and river channel enhancement.

Further upstream, between Little Thornage and Thornage we are planning a project for later this year, designed to improve the floodplain habitat and river margins at a site where the river itself is already in good condition.  The site is full of water voles and native crayfish, so getting the balance right between improvement and interference is critical.

At Selbrigg Pond we have now re-enforced the crumbling pond wall and by the time the newsletter appears we will have removed a large amount of accumulated sediment from the pond, restoring it as freshwater biodiversity hotspot.  The pond is spring fed and a vital source of clean water for the river.

At Baconsthorpe Castle we have been talking to English Heritage and the owners about removing silt from the pond to preserve habitat for the rare and wonderous crucian carp and also protect the river from further siltation.  We hope to begin work there in early 2015.

Up in the headwaters around Baconsthorpe and Bodham we have worked (and are still working) with several farms to reduce the amount of silt getting into the river.  We have taken a variety of measures here, emptying existing silt traps and ponds, helping farms re-locate beet storage to keep soil off roads, fencing off bits of vulnerable fields and creating wetlands in appropriate places in drainage ditches to trap silt and nutrients.  Early monitoring work suggest this work is working well, but we need a downpour to really test it out.