River Restoration

Simon Cain’s first river restoration project in 1984 on the river Ebble near Odstock, involved re-planting the dredged river channel with Ranuculus weeds.

His appointment as river keeper to the Barford fishing club on the river Nadder followed in 1985, providing an essential grounding in the workings of water. He relinquished that position in 1988 to deliver his first professional river restoration project on the Ballington Manor water on the river Wylye in 1989.

Since those early projects the company, under Cain’s direction, has gone on to amass an impressive CV of river restoration projects including major works on some of the worlds most prestigious chalk streams and their tributaries such as the Anton, Hampshire Avon, Frank Sawyer’s Wiltshire Avon, Plunket Greene’s Bourne Rivulet, Wiltshire Bourne, Colne, Frome, Itchen, Kennet, Lambourn, Meon, Nadder, Nar, Piddle, Test, Wandle, Wylye and many other lesser-known but equally valuable watercourses.

River restoration
Restored mill leat on the upper Itchen.

We are in the process of writing up a selection of project case studies from the above list of rivers which will appear in this section just as soon as we can produce them.

River restoration
Restored spawning carrier and salmonid nursery – Upper Itchen

Cain Bio-Engineering’s ‘River Doctors’ have a wide-ranging understanding of  water issues including the following more frequent enquiries.

  • Water Framework Directive (WFD) waterbodies with moderate, poor or degraded ecological status
  • Regulatory enforcement in designated aquatic environments.
  • sedimentation
  • Flood risk mitigation
  • Historic river engineering
  • Trees
  • Deconstructing weirs and infrastructure.
  • Concrete river channels & De-culverting
  • Diffuse and point-source pollution
  • Water quality

We have delivered a range of river restoration projects which enhance the ecological potential of rivers at catchment and local scale.

River restoration

The Bourne Rivulet is an iconic fly-fishing tributary of the river Test immortalised by the trout fishing Opera singer Harry Plunket Greene in his book ‘Where the bright waters meet’. Read more about this river restoration of the Bourne Rivulet