This large river restoration project was developed and funded in partnership with the South East Rivers Trust, the Royal Parks, the Friends of Richmond Park, the Environment Agency, and the Beverley Brook Catchment Partnership. Through the Park, the river was severely over wide, steep-sided and slow-moving, which has left a silty channel bed with little habitat variation for invertebrates and fish.
Scope of the Project
The project aimed to naturalise a 600m section of the Beverley Brook and subsequently provide a greater complexity of habitats for aquatic wildlife with improved variations to water flow characteristics. Being a National Nature Reserve, a site of special scientific interest, a European SAC and the capitals largest enclosed public space, it was of utmost importance to minimise disturbance to the surrounding parkland, its users and the vitally important protected habitats and species that are present.
To further the marginal habitat… Steep sections of the bank were re-profiled with a tracked excavator. Existing turf from the bank was utilised to stabilise and re-enforce the rivers toe edge.
Several ‘green’ river restoration techniques were used to improve habitat for fish and wildlife. Marginal wetland berms were constructed to narrow the river channel, creating a sinuous, varied flow and improved habitat. The different berms consisted of hazel faggot lined toe edges, site won large wooded debris, graded bank material, and coir matting.
To allow the new banks to establish and prevent future erosion, fences and river gates were erected to exclude the parks deer population.
The access points consisted of regraded banks, reinforced log toe edges, and stabilised grounds made up of gabion stones topped with compacted aggregate.
The final enhancements constructed were some deer and dog access points. These access points are intended to reduce future bank erosion and the unwanted input of sediment into the river channel.
During the entire works, public disturbances were minimised by clearly signed pathways, fenced off working sites and reduced plant movements from careful planning.