Midhurst Castle – River Restoration & Floodplain Restoration

FiveRivers are working with Southern Water and Cowdray to design a river and floodplain restoration scheme on the Western Rother catchment in West Sussex funded through the Southern Water Environment Improvement Fund (EIF), a £5 million fund created for projects that protect and enhance the natural environment across the Southern Water supply area.

FiveRivers are undertaking detailed design works to improve the rivers ecological status under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Project Requirements

The Western Rother is currently rated as ‘Moderate Ecological Status’ under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The Rother is failing to reach ‘Good Ecological Status’ due to diffuse and point source pollution, physical modification, and flow.

The reach throughout the project site is generally overwide, over deep, and unnaturally straight and suffering from high levels of sedimentation from upstream land use management practices. It has been identified as a location where restoration measures could deliver a high environmental benefit.

A significant motivator for the project is to increase accessibility to the river and its associated habitats for the local community and develop a “riverside park” on the left-hand bank of the river upstream of the bridge connecting the Cowdray Ruins with the causeway.

Our Approach

We will be carrying out:

  • Topographic survey taking 13 cross section, spot levels and structure positions to a 10mm accuracy
  • Drone survey of aerial photography and LiDAR data
  • Baseline observation
  • Concept and detailed designs
  • Hydraulic modelling
  • Natural capital assessment
  • Stakeholder engagement

Our designs will include channel narrowing berms, woody habitat enhancements, tree hinging, bank regrading, gravel augmentation, wetland scrapes and an oak boardwalk.

Planning is due to be submitted by Southern Water and Cowdray later this year for approval of construction.

About FiveRivers

FiveRivers is a leading industry specialist in the monitoring, consultation, design, and delivery of ecological and environmental nature-based solutions. With over 25 years’ working with nature, our expertise encompasses terrestrial and aquatic habitats with a specific passion for rivers and wetlands.

Our services deliver environmental protection, enhancement and restoration through environmental and ecological monitoring. ecological mitigation and habitat improvement. and A specialist of choice, FiveRivers delivers innovative, sensitive, and leading solutions across all sectors.

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Outline & Detailed Design

River Restoration




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