Urban river restoration: River Anton, Andover

Woody debris channel narrowing 1 - Aquamaintain

Fresh from helping to deliver several projects on the middle and upper Wandle, river restoration consultancy Aquamaintain recently moved its focus to another urban chalkstream – this time the little River Anton in Andover.

In the words of Test Valley Borough Council’s River Anton Enhancement Strategy, these headwaters of the globally-famous River Test have lost much of their natural sparkle.

To them as knows, it’s still a surprisingly great little trout and grayling stream. But to the experienced urban river restorationist, all-too-familiar signs of habitat degradation include dredged channels, concrete and corrugated iron revetments, fish-blocking weirs forming straight, silty impoundments, and over-widened dog-swimming areas with muddy banks leaching silt into the river’s gravels.

Over the course of several weeks in March this year, in partnership with Test Valley Borough Council, Aquamaintain’s wet work focused on 600 metres of channel between Sainsbury Close and Redbridge Drive which was suffering from the effects of dredging and other historic modifications. Most of these enhancements involved channel narrowing and bank stabilisation with large woody debris sourced by tree work on adjacent, over-shaded banks. For the benefit of local fly-fishers dog-walkers a brace of log-faced access points were also constructed.

Check out the photos below from Aquamaintain’s Facebook page, and stay tuned for plenty more news from the Anton and our other urban rivers…

Chestnut posts arriving at Watermills Park - Aquamaintain

Channel narrowing 2 at Watermills Park - Aquamaintain

Pleached trees on Anton - Aquamaintain

Brushwood mattresses on Anton - Aquamaintain

Mobile HQ - Aquamaintain

New dog access at Watermills Park - Aquamaintain

(Photos: Aquamaintain)

No Comments

Leave a Reply