Five Rivers working on a river restoration project

River Restoration

River restoration is the act of reinstating natural processes to help restore a naturally functioning and dynamic ecosystem. Geomorphological changes (such as channel narrowing or stage zero restoration) can not only help the river to function more naturally, but can increase the potential for additional natural habitat improvements beyond the scope of the project.

River restoration, as a natured-based solution to traditional engineering, is where we started as a business more than 25 years ago. We’ve monitored, designed and constructed river restoration schemes across the country working on behalf the Environment Agency, Natural England, water companies, private landowners and The Rivers Trusts.

We can undertake restoration and enhancements on all river systems, from small tributaries to estuarine habitats, with a particular specialism in the restoration of chalk streams habitats. Whether your project is large- or small-scale, our knowledgeable team will guide you through the entire process, from design and regulatory requirements to construction.

River restoration in action
The Problems

Poor River Quality

Our clients engage our expertise in river restoration for a number of reasons. Common challenges that we are able to offer flexible, skilled and cost-effective solutions to include:

  • Poor river habitat quality
  • Historic damming of a river such as Weirs, mill structures, other instream obstructions
  • Poor historic management of rivers such as Dredging, straightening, removing instream habitat features
  • Erosion protection
  • Amenity benefits, such as for angling and tourism
  • Alternative nature based solutions to replacing failing traditional infrastructure
  • Requirement for habitat mitigation for specific protected species such as water voles and otter
  • Visual improvements as part of development or housing
  • a need to improve water framework classification
  • a need to achieve targets for biodiversity net gain
River restoration
The Solutions

Flexible Interventions

We offer a wide range of effective nature-based solutions to for your river restoration scheme, and are always at the forefront of new developments in the industry, reflecting our passion for the river environment. Common methods we use in our river restoration projects include:

  • Paleochannel restoration
  • River plan form re meandering
  • Instream marginal habitat reinstatement
  • bed level raising including riffle reinstatement
  • flood plain reconnection
  • Stage Zero Restoration
  • Soft engineered erosion protection
  • Natural flood management features
  • fish passage improvements, both engineered and naturalistic

We also offer a range of bio-engineering and light civil engineering services to compliment schemes such as pedestrian bridges, water level control and flood control structures, and can act as designer and contractor as required.

At FiveRivers, we take our commitment to our clients and the natural world seriously, and strive to work in the most holistic and cost-effective manner possible. This includes using site-won materials whenever feasible to complete all river restoration works.

Luke Roberts - Design & Construction General Manager at FiveRivers (5R)

Contact us

Talk to an expert in River Restoration

Luke Roberts

Construction Manager

Get in touch by either phone or email to speak with Luke and discuss your needs. Alternatively click the button below to complete our contact form.