In collaboration with the Environment Agency, Bossington Estate have embarked upon an ambitious programme of habitat and chalk stream restoration on the River Test. A river restoration design assignment was completed by Cain Bio-Engineering for several ‘carriers’ of the River Test at Bossington Estate during 2012 and 2013. Restoration works commenced in October 2013 with the Old Station Beat, a 450m length of channel which was typically over-wide and over-deep, with low level board weirs. The design incorporated existing water vole habitat to ensure this would not be disturbed during the works. Cain Bio-Engineering undertook site management of the restoration and completed construction alongside Bossington Estate staff.
A range of river restoration techniques were used for the project including reintroduction of gravel riffles, installation of woody debris, creating a channel meander sequence, raising of the bed level using site-won gravel and channel narrowing to transform this section of river from a silt-laden channel to a classic chalk stream. Marginal habitat was enhanced through the creation of backwater scrapes.
Further detail can be found on the restore rivers website.