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Diversifying the Babingley at Hillington

Diversifying the Babingley at Hillington

Despite centuries of modification, the upper Babingley remains one of the finest stretches of chalk river in Norfolk. Therefore, with a few simple alterations, it has the potential to be exemplary.

Work has been undertaken to address several issues that were occurring across a 3km stretch of the upper Babingley. Five small weirs that were impeding the migrations and movement of fish species between Flitcham and West Newton were removed, and a further three weirs have been altered to allow fish to move through the upper reaches.

Furthermore, a new back-water channel has been dug to create an area of still-water habitat for a variety of plants and insects. In addition, several hundred metres of straightened river channel was re-worked to naturalise the channel shape. This involved the installation of large pieces of woody debris within the channel to break water flows and increase shelter and refuge areas.

In-channel

In-channel woody debris

Re-naturalising

Re-naturalising the channel

These measures will increase habitat diversity, which should influence fish and invertebrate diversity. Monitoring will take place once the site has fully recovered.

Acknowledgements:

This project was part of the overall ‘Nine Chalk Rivers’ project, funded by the Environment Agency’s Catchment Restoration Fund.

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