Re-wilding the River Bure: Low cost river restoration

‘How should a river be restored?’ can often be translated as ‘How much will it cost?’
One inexpensive low tech approach, that has sometimes led to divided opinions, is now gaining acceptance as a suitable method of restoring natural riverine processes.
A pioneering plan to recreate natural tree-fall was carried out on the River Bure, a chalk stream on the Bickling Hall Estate in Norfolk. The only equipment needed was an old boat, a hand winch and a chainsaw.
See the re-wilding of the R. Bure in action here

See wiser website for models on the relationships of restoration measures and their effect



The conceptual models are used to illustrate the relationships between three common restoration measures (riparian buffer instalment, instream mesohabitat improvement, weir-removal), its effects on instream environmental key variables, and eventually the impact of changing variables on benthic algae, macrophytes, benthic invertebrates and fish.


Calling all planners !


The RESTORE team is busily writing a handbook about river restoration for spatial planners and developers who do not have a background in this subject. It will be a practical summary of our approach and will explain what we want to achieve, why it is important and how we do it to get the best results. 

If you are a planner we would love to have your help in shaping this handbook so we can produce the information you really need. 

If you'd like to help please contact us on: restore@environment-agency.gov.uk



RSA Student Design Awards 2012/13


The Royal Society of Arts, in conjunction with the Environment Agency, are asking students to design or update a method of tackling water pollution. The aim is to reduce the impact of man-made structures, restore natural features to water environments, and to reduce the impact of water pollution. 

Two awards are available for this brief, including a paid internship at the Environment Agency or an RSA Fellows Award of £1250. 

Submission requirements for the competition can be found on the RSA's website 

Download this brief (PDF)