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Improving river health and floodplain connectivity at Bayfield

Improving river health and floodplain connectivity at Bayfield

Transforming a ditch and floodplain to enhance habitat quality and water management.

The Challenge

The river Glaven is a chalk stream that flows through Norfolk before joining the North Sea at Blakeney Point. At this site, the river was suffering from nutrient loading and the old dredging embankments were disconnecting the Glaven from its floodplain.

The Impact

Work involved excavating an existing straight ditch and meandering it through the floodplain to slow the flow of water. Old dredging embankments were removed to restore the natural overflow onto the floodplain, and a series of new wetland pools and scrapes were created to enhance habitat diversity for local wildlife, including the European eel and Brown trout that inhabit the area.

To further improve the water quality, a ditch carrying high levels of phosphate was redirected into a newly constructed linear wetland. Here, native plants will absorb excess nutrients.

Dr Jonah Tosney, Technical Director at Norfolk Rivers Trust, said:

“We look forward to the site further naturalising, with rough and varied vegetation encouraged through grazing practices. The enhanced habitat is already being used by frogs, eels, egrets and otters, which is really promising. We hope that over time, additional species will move in such as water-voles and grass-snakes.”


This work was completed by a partnership between Norfolk Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, with further funding support from the WWF and Finish partnership.

Credit: Josh Jaggard

Credit: Josh Jaggard

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