This initiative was supported by the Thames West Region of the Environment Agency in partnership with the Wild Trout Trust, Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, Loddon Fisheries and Conservation Consultative and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Over 30 practical habitat enhancements were completed on the Rivers Blackwater, Loddon and Whitewater by eight teams, each led by experts. Work included creating gravel spawning grounds; installing large woody debris to change river morphology and to scour pools, clean spawning grounds and improve habitat complexity; adding cover for fish and other wildlife; and planting native wetland plant species.
At Arborfield bypass channel, fish passage was improved by slowing the water down through the channel’s exit to facilitate upstream movement.
To support local people carrying out further work, a draft Environment Agency flood defence consent advice pack was circulated together with advice on undertaking habitat improvement work such as adding woody debris, creating backwaters and spawning habitat enhancement.