by Alexandra Bryden on Monday, 15th October, 2018

Last week I went down to Somerset for a tour of the Hills to Levels Project across the catchment. Hills to Levels was the winner of the UK River Prize 2018, and winner of the catchment-scale category.

The long drive from Bedfordshire (180miles!) was totally worth it to see the work that has been going on down in the levels. The group met in Merriott where Joanna Uglow from FWAG South West gave a short introduction to the project and the sites we would be seeing. We divided into fewer cars to make our way to the first site – a project to reopen a culvert running through a field. Sabine McEwan from FWAG South West explained how as far as they knew, the culvert had always been there possibly for a mill or to provide a water supply to a nearby farm house. The culvert currently runs beneath the farm land, and is creating a health and safety risk as the land is slumping into the watercourse below. There are large steps and a waterfall dropping down into the culvert, which is silted up from slow, low flow. This culvert site shows great potential as deculverting would allow the stream to be opened up, providing a natural meandering platform, slow down the flow, improve fish passage, and create the opportunity to plant trees and enhance habitat.


You can read the full write up on the River Restoration Center's website here: