The first stage of the County School beat upgrade is now complete. The new gravel riffles and the upstream bank work have made a substantial difference to the flow and access, as well as improving the habitat for bank voles and fish. A surprising side effect of the bed raising project is the way that the increased flow has scoured the river bed downstream for about another 70 yards to reveal spawning gravel which was hidden beneath several inches of silt.

Over 350 tons of stone and gravel were put into the river, with much of it having to be raked and distributed by hand, but it is already proving a worthwhile exercise as it has transformed a much longer stretch of river than anticipated. 

We look forward to a new generation of wild trout taking advantage of the new habitat!

The new gravel bed riffles have already attracted small wild trout of up to 5inches long, several large chub and some pike, not to mention a large number of fry, minnows and an egret!
The centre of the berm had to be left intact to conform with Natural England restrictions, but the remaining two sections were shored up with logs and stakes and filled with old dredging spoil from along the bank.
The raised bank of ancient dredging spoil was removed and levelled out over the swampy area to create a firm bank and re-connect the river to its natural flood plain.

The club intend to carry on with minor bank maintenance work to repair cattle damage and reduce the amount of silt deposited in the river. Once the whole beat has been fenced off we anticipate a significant increase in bankside vegetation, bank voles and fly life.

Leave a Reply