1. Improving Fish Passage at Waters Place Farm
Theme: Ecology and biodiversity
- Remove physical barriers along the river
- Improve the ecological health of the river bed and banks
The ford at Waters Place Farm was adapted to improve fish passage and condition of the River Ash.
Fords cause a number of problems for rivers. First, if the height is more than 30cm then fish are generally unable to navigate the structure and move freely along a watercourse. Second, they cause the river upstream of the ford to become slow flowing and pond-like, leading to large quantities of silt dropping out and smothering the river bed and its plants.
In 2014, the Environment Agency led on a project to lower the height of the ford at Waters Place Farm, working in partnership with the Easneye Estate. A notch was cut into the centre of the ford, allowing water to continuously flow over the structure and to enable fish passage. Upstream of the ford the river responded well and the impounding effect was reduced.
This project also contributed to meeting aims set out in the Water Framework Directive, which targets removing barriers to fish passage on the River Ash as the method for reaching "Good Ecological Status."