Strategic River Restoration Plan in collaboration with Natural Resources Wales

Working alongside Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the River Restoration Centre our geomorphology team produced a Strategic River Restoration Plan for the Cleddau Rivers (Afonydd Cleddau). The assessments allowed them to understand the river, habitats and species across the catchment. Leading to the creation of a prioritised plan to restore the natural river system functioning and features.


The Cleddau Rivers are designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) due to the special habitats and species which they support. These include otter, lamprey, water crowfoot, wet woodland and raised bogs. This study forms part of NRW’s objective to achieve favourable conditions within SACs across Wales. The restoration plan seeks to identify long-term, sustainable restoration opportunities for the Afonydd Cleddau to assist NRW in achieving this objective. The ultimate aim of the restoration plan is to restore natural river system functioning and features within the Afonydd Cleddau, providing multiple benefits to the SAC water bodies and protected features, as well as for wider biodiversity, fisheries and flood risk.


Targeted field surveys were undertaken across the catchment to assess ecological and geomorphological conditions, and also identify pressures which require mitigation or management. This was supplemented with a detailed catchment desk study, including an analysis of historic river management to understand the presence of physical modifications such as weirs and channel straightening.

The combined assessments enabled us to gain insight into the morphology and ecology of the river, as well as identify the primary factors causing the degradation of protected habitats and species in the catchment. 


The team produced a Strategic River Restoration Plan for the Afonydd Cleddau, which lays out a number of restoration options for the river. A method of prioritisation of these proposals has also been developed in order to aid future river restoration planning, also highlighting high-level restoration costs. The restoration options presented will be refined further through future feasibility work and through a process of future public engagement

Our Landscape team also produced a series of consultation materials for community engagement, including landscape sketches and visualisations of the proposed restoration options.

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