It has been an absolute hectic last few weeks with all the water that has been in our rivers (and out of them as well). Our project at Dove Cliff has been put on hold for a while till the weather improves so there is really not much more to add I’m afraid. Attached above is the latest February briefing note and I‘ll keep you posted as we near the time when we start up again.
Dove Cliff Weir Removal – February 2020 update
Background We are removing Dove Cliff weir to improve biodiversity and fish passage through the entire Dove catchment. The best solution for fish passage in our rivers is to remove barriers, such as weirs and sluices. This is particularly important when they are in poor condition, can cost a lot of money to maintain and no longer serve a functional purpose. Fish passes alone do not improve the habitat required for fish to spawn and grow. However, removing weirs does as it allows the sediments within the river to deposit naturally, creating the right river environments.
As you will be aware from our previous update in December 2019, due to the rainfall experienced in the later part of last year we decided it was not safe or suitable to continue with the weir removal works until flows were lower and could be managed in a safer manner.
Contractors will be on site until mid-February to finish securing the site, which includes installing some stock proof fencing and ensuring that any temporary works do not impact on the flow of the river. Construction works will then stop on site until late spring, after which we plan to continue with the weir removal. We will provide you with a timetable of works as soon as possible.
Both Dove Cliff weir and the Mill Fleam (Mill Leat) weir remain in place, with no removal works having taken place due to the high flows.
During the winter suspension of works, the temporary bypass channel flows have been stabilised, returning the majority of the flows to the main river and Mill Fleam. Works to return the river back to its natural course has meant that there were occasional periods of low flows down the Mill Fleam. This work has now been completed and the original flow split between the Mill Fleam and River Dove will have returned to normal. This also means that pumps will no longer be in use on site, until work recommences in the spring.
Please note that even though we are suspending the weir removal works, contractors will still be attending site frequently during this period to ensure the site remains secure and the temporary works are operating as intended.
If you have any further question please let me know.
Fisheries Technical Specialist
Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Midlands (SWWM)
9 Wellington Cres.