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A more dynamic river at West Acre

A more dynamic river at West Acre

Norfolk Rivers Trust, Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Board (IDB) and Cain Bio-Engineering teamed up to restore a large section of the River Nar at West Acre.

The aim was to diversify and naturalise the river to improve the overall richness of habitat for fauna and flora. Trees were selectively cut and positioned in the over-wide channel to rebuild the meanders and low-lying river banks. Berms (level shelving to separate two areas e.g. river and bank) were created by pinning trees into the channel using chestnut posts. These act like sediment traps, slowing the water as it flows over the felled wood.

These modifications will provide a host of improvements to the habitat and ecosystem; the narrower channel will enable water to flow quicker, thereby scouring the river bed and exposing clean gravel for fish to spawn. The faster flow will favour typical chalk-stream weeds such as ranunculus and starwort, which naturally cleanse the river and provide better water quality for fish and invertebrates.

The wet shallow margins will stimulate the growth of reeds and grasses, which provide a habitat for wildlife such as birds and mammals.

Acknowledgements:

We would like to express a huge thanks to Acorn Tree Services, who provided a very hardworking staff team to assist with this project.

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