The Severn Rivers Trust team have been putting the finishing touches to a new fish pass structure on the river Stour in Kidderminster. An illustrated interpretation panel has been added to help explain how the fish pass works and introduce some of the amazing species that live within the Stour. This work was made possible by the financial support of the Environment Agency, Worcestershire County Council- Natural Networks Programme and Vp plc, a specialist equipment rental group that provided corporate sponsorship to help fund the scheme as part of their sustainability commitments.
The River Stour is a vital tributary that flows into the River Severn. Through time, the river has been heavily modified and polluted due to the area’s rich industrial heritage. The damage caused by humans in the past continues to affect the river’s wildlife today. Carter’s Weir is an artificial barrier in the river channel which is located at the site of an old mill. It was once an impressive water wheel that harnessed the power of the river Stour for industry. Remnant structures like this cause big problems for fish because they can’t swim over the obstacles, and therefore are cut off from important habitat.
A ‘baffle pass’ was constructed as part of the project. This slows the flow of water over the weir face and is carefully designed to allow a consistent depth and flow velocity to the water. It is similar to a flight of steps that fish can swim up and down, meaning they now have a route across the barrier.
Migratory fish species including the critically endangered Atlantic salmon and coarse fish can now reach stretches of the river which used to be harder toaccess. Thanks to this project, over 25km of the River Stour is now free from major barriers to migration.
Alice Fallon, Head of Community Engagement at Severn Rivers Trust says,
“We are absolutely delighted that this collaboration with a local business has helped us to bring fish back to our rivers and restore them to good health. The Severn Rivers Trust are the only environmental organisation operating from source to sea along Britain’s longest river system, the Severn. Our commitment to turning the tide on the ecological adversities facing our water environment is bold and ambitious. This fish passage work at Carter’s Weir has contributed significantly to our river restoration targets, and our ultimate vision of a healthy resilient river Severn for everyone.”
With thanks to our funders and partners Environment Agency, Worcestershire County Councils, Natural Networks Programme, and Vp plc.
For more information about this project, or to find out how your business can partner with Severn Rivers Trust, please contact: