Restoration of Eastern England’s Rivers for Anglian Water

Binnies and RSK group sister companies Salix and cbec are delighted to announce that they have successfully completed the feasibility phase of the Anglian Water river restoration framework, carried out across a number of water bodies in the East of England. As we progress to the outline design phase, we will be able to build on this work to identify restoration measures at suitable locations within the river network.

Following a review of the feasibility assessment, the restoration measures to be developed during the subsequent design phase will include channel narrowing through the construction of in-channel benches to improve continuity of low flows, habitat enhancement through the introduction of large wood, increased floodplain connectivity and the creation of floodplain features.

countryside landscape view

The design team has a wealth of experience in restoring degraded chalk streams, which can be applied to the restoration of the target watercourses. The rivers are suffering from historical realignment, canalisation, routine dredging and reduced river levels as a result of abstraction. Improved management of the catchments, including land management techniques, reduced abstraction rates and amended maintenance procedures, will form part of the restoration strategy, while increased public access will enhance the amenity value of the sites as well as overall river health.

As part of the outline design phase, the multidisciplinary team will be looking ahead to the construction phase to ensure any constraints to the build are considered and addressed at an early stage. Throughout the process, there will be collaboration with landowners and the Environment Agency. This will ensure a project delivered in partnership to achieve both reach- and catchment-scale improvements.

The target areas include some of eastern England’s most iconic and important chalk streams, including the southern tributaries of the River Little Ouse (Sapiston and Stowlangtoft) in Suffolk, and the northern tributaries of the River Wissey (Old Carr, Gadder and Stringside).

flooded fields

Water Resources Environment Manager for Anglian Water Martin Bowes said, “The aim of these schemes is to reinstate the natural processes in the rivers that have been lost through historical river management and modification. The work will reinstall meanders, riffles and gravel into the riverbeds, creating variation in river flows and protection against erosion. By changing the river’s shape – narrowing or shallowing some parts, we can increase habitat diversity and allow the river to function more how nature intended it to, and as importantly, without increasing the risk of flooding to local amenities, businesses or homes.”

Scott Aitken, Managing Director for Binnies, commented, “Binnies and our RSK group sister companies Salix and cbec are delighted to be partnering with Anglian Water and the CaBA partners on these important environmental projects that bring multiple benefits to our habitats, local communities and to the customers of Anglian Water.”

About Binnies

At Binnies, we create new possibilities for humanity through our innovative approach to delivery. Backed by a culture that has stayed true since the company’s founding over 100 years ago, Binnies develops intelligent water and environmental solutions using a whole-life-cycle approach to deliver functional infrastructure and lasting environmental and social legacies. We strive to elevate the quality of life for our local communities today and for generations to come.

Binnies is an RSK group company and was formerly part of Black & Veatch.

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About the RSK group (RSK)

RSK is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services group made up of over 100 businesses. The group is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has an established presence in more than 40 countries around the world.

For over 30 years, RSK has been helping organisations realise their business goals efficiently, cost-effectively and with the minimum environmental and social impact. We deliver practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time. As a client-focused business, our services are constantly evolving to directly respond to or pre-empt global conditions and legislative drivers.

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Media contacts 

Binnies UK  

Angela Collins Tel: +44 (0)1737 856399 | Mobile: +44 (0)7391 639733 |