Minn’s Meadow was our attempt at finding a way of properly fixing the dredged parts of the river. Because dredging is the most fundamental and widespread way in which chalk-streams have been damaged, I’m really interested in what we can do about it.
Here we have taken the gravel from borrow-pits beside the river and restored long riffles in sync with the meander pattern of the river. The borrow pits were filled back in and have settled into flood-plain hollows that imitate old oxbows and have a nice side-benefit of wetland habitat. There were quite a few snipe hanging around them in the winter.
It was also nice to see that the riffles were used by spawning trout (and sea-trout) within a month of going in. I feel the fact that the gravel was ungraded and from the floodplain beside the river might well have influenced how readily it was adopted by spawning trout.
Here’s a few before, during and after photos. Before we started all the gradient in this meadow was lost over the first few yards, whereafter the river was deep and sluggish. Now we have spaced the gradient out of a series of riffles with natural shapes and spacings. It is great to see patches of ranunculus growing where there was only eel-grass.