Fluvial Design Guide - Chapter 4 Background

Fluvial ecology

Keith Hendry, Stuart Clough and Marc Hubble

This chapter describes how an understanding of aquatic ecology is an essential prerequisite to the achievement of satisfactory results for all works in the fluvial environment. It has strong links to both Chapter 3 (geomorphology) and Chapter 5 (landscape). River morphology is discussed in terms of its importance to the ecology of a watercourse, and the concept of stream classification is introduced.

The importance of connectivity in the fluvial environment is addressed, for both the hydrology and ecology of a river. A description of mistakes made in the past is used to provide an insight into better practices for the future.

The legislative framework is described, covering both UK and European law, with brief sections on all the key legislation including, for example, the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the Habitats Directive, and the Water Framework Directive.

Environmentally friendly design is described and illustrated, with reference to channel diversity, in-stream structures, bank protection, weed cutting, and both lateral and longitudinal connectivity.

There is a helpful section introducing alien invasive species (fauna and flora), with photos to aid recognition.

The chapter closes with a discussion on the need for monitoring, both pre- and post-scheme, in order to improve our understanding of the fluvial environment and our impact on it.

Chapter Structure

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Learning from the past

4.3 The legeslative framework

4.4 Environmentally sensitive design

4.5 Invasive species

4.6 The need for monitoring

4.7 Conclusions

Key references

Other references

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A permanently connected backwater can provide significant ecological benefits

Keith Hendry

K Hendry
Managing Director
APEM Ltd
Riverview, A17 Embankment Business Park, Heaton Mersey, Stockport SK4 3GN
www.apemltd.co.uk
 0161 442 8938  0161 442 8938

Keith Hendry is a fish biologist with expertise in fish habitats, habitat restoration and fish flow requirements. Having worked previously for the Marine Biological Association and South West Water, for the past 22 years he has held the position of managing director of the aquatic science consultancy firm APEM Ltd. His consultancy and research interests have resulted in many publications on river habitat management and the influence of climate change on fish and river ecology.

Stuart Clough

S C Clough
Director
APEM Ltd
Riverview, A17 Embankment Business Park, Heaton Mersey, Stockport SK4 3GN
www.apemltd.co.uk
 0161 442 8938  0161 442 8938

Stuart Clough is an aquatic ecologist with a wide range of expertise in marine, estuarine and freshwater environments, and is currently a director of the aquatic science consultancy firm APEM Ltd. Stuart has completed a host of fluvial ecology projects on behalf of water companies, power companies and the regulatory bodies, and is very experienced in impact assessment and mitigation of works in fluvial environments. His specialist research areas include fish migration and habitat use, fishpasses and screening, hydro-ecology and fluvial remote sensing, and he has published a number of scientific papers in these disciplines.

Marc Hubble

M O Hubble
Senior Aquatic Ecologist
APEM Ltd
Riverview, A17 Embankment Business Park, Heaton Mersey, Stockport SK4 3GN
www.apemltd.co.uk
Marc Hubble has been an aquatic consultant with APEM Ltd. for the past four years. He is an expert in marine and freshwater ecology. He has written numerous technical reports addressing freshwater management issues, including in-stream habitat use, drought permit applications, abstraction licences, water quality investigations and management structure recommendations.