CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Environmental Geology & Geotechnical Consultants Ltd, in association with the Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust, offer the following catchment management services:
Natural Flood Management (NFM)
NFM has recently received much attention as a potentially cost-effective approach to reduce flood risk to downstream areas, particularly in rural landscapes. EnvGeoGeo offer NFM design, risk assessment, costing, regulatory liaison and project and contractor management.
NFM is considered a catchment-based approach which aims to use ‘soft-engineering’ at a landscape scale to intercept ephemeral overland (surface) flow pathways, generated during high rainfall events, and which link fields and hillslopes to the ditch and stream network.
NFM techniques aim to reduce or delay flood peaks downstream by encouraging stream and river channels to connect (or reconnect) with their floodplains. Such connections provide storage and ‘Slow the Flow’ through increased floodplain surface roughness via the presence of dense vegetation, woodland, swales, attenuation ponds etc. The aim of adopting a ‘little and often’ approach on a catchment-wide scale is that the cumulative effect of many NFM interventions reduces peak flows in the main river channels subject to flooding. NFM is being promoted as an alternative to traditional flood management, though in practice it forms a complementary technique utilised alongside more traditional flood defences.
Catchment Based Approach
A river ultimately reflects the entire range of agricultural, industrial, commercial and domestic activities occurring within its catchment. River water quality and flood management plans need to adopt a holistic approach to integrating river quality into land, refuse and sewage management systems across the board.
The Catchment Based Approach takes the bigger picture and aims to implement small scale and local solutions across a wide area. This approach requires a high degree of stakeholder engagement and input into proposed management strategies, as well as uptake by larger institutions. The Ribble Rivers Trust and EGG Consutants Ltd. have been delivering pilot Catchment Based Approach strategies across the Ribble for the last three years and are well placed to offer advice on maximising benefits to water quality and habitat using simple interventions and techniques, as well as on working with farming and other communities whose activities have an impact on catchments.
Barrier prioritisation and removal; Installation of fish passes.
All species of fish migrate within river channels, to spawn, to find food sources, to shelter from floods, to escape pollution. Some species of fish (in particular Salmon, Sea Trout and Eels) migrate to the sea for part of their lifecycle, returning to their native rivers to spawn. Man-made barriers such as weirs and dams, and other alterations to natural river channels, such as culverts and concrete channels in urban areas, all reduce the potential for migrating fish to get to where they want to be. EGG Consultants Ltd. and RRT have developed a GIS tool for prioritising which barriers within a river will open up the greatest areas of water body, up and down stream, for fish to gain hitherto unavailable access. We are able to advise on the application of this tool as well as supply the geotechnical and engineering experience to address barrier removal and installation of fish passes on/around barriers.
Moorland Surveys & Restoration
We offer moorland surveys, restoration feasibility studies & design, and project management for moorland restoration in England, Scotland and Wales.
We provide quantification of capital works required, detailed specifications of works, assess true costs, manage tender processes and financial aspects, and oversee contractors working on moorland restoration schemes.
Our surveys range from basic studies of peat erosion to detailed ecological and hydrological assessments for the acquisition of baseline and post-restoration monitoring data.
Erosion Monitoring and Control
Assessment of sediment generation source areas and sustainable methods of sediment/erosion control, particularly bank and slope stabilisation using biomechanical techniques.
Restoration of meanders, reconnecting rivers with flood plains, riparian habitat schemes, bank erosion control, geomorphological analysis.
Urban River Enhancement
Restructuring Urban River Environments often of poor habitat and water quality so that they become places suitable again for wildlife as well as a source of wellbeing for the communities through which they flow.
Farm Visits and Advice
RRT’s dedicated farm advisors are aware of all types of grants and financing available for farmers to undertake works to improve environmental practice. These are often straightforward measures like improving guttering to decrease farmyard runoff/slurries, improvement of tracks etc. RRT’s farm advisors are farmers themselves, have grown up in farming communities and will only offer genuine practical advice for farm management where it can bring in money to a farm and meet environmental objectives.
Climate Change Adaptation
Climate predictions for north-western Europe are for warmer, wetter and wilder weather. Sounds fun?? Unfortunately some of the consequences are extremely damaging and programs of flood mitigation, for example, need to be conducted on a catchment-wide basis if they are to have a real positive impact. Fortunately many of the management strategies involve simple and easily implemented measures; communicating their importance, subsidising their uptake and ensuring adequate regulatory oversight are the real challenges.