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River Frome Moreton Estate Enhancement

With many thanks to the West Countries Rivers Trust, the Frome Piddle & West Dorset Fisheries Association and in partnership with the Environment Agency has jointly funded and successfully delivered a habitat improvement project on the Frome, (Main River) on the Moreton Estate, Dorset.

We are pleased to say that this project will contribute to the upcoming River Frome Rehabilitation Plan.

Firstly the lower section downstream of the main house was selected as a suitable area for an in stream project, namely re profiling the river bed and the introduction of large woody debris, ideas from the fishery tenant (Richard Slocock), Dr Allan Frake, Natural England, and the Environment Agency, notes gathered over the last couple of years and now delivered as a very successful partnership project.

The whole of the Moreton Channel reach, downstream of the main house had been identified for channel reprofiling.

The survey under taken showed cross sections of a fairly uniform profile, which we were able to improve on.
The works created a range of profiles along the reach giving pools and riffles and overall a much varied bed profile and morphology. This in turn enabled the river to support a more diverse ecology, including a more varied habitat for 0+ up to adult salmonids.

The works involved the use of a long reach excavator to move existing bed material within the channel. No material was brought on to the site or removed from the site.

The work here involved enlarging existing in channel features such as deep pools and riffles and adding various shallow scrapes in to the river bed.

There are several large Alder trees that had been earmarked for supply material for LWD (large woody debris). Specific limbs were cut and fixed to the bank / channel at specific points, various Willow trees were also hinged over various pools and riffles adding additional cover.

The trees were cut down by fully trained personnel, and every limb used was wired very firmly into place to prevent anything coming loose during times of high flow.

Up stream of Hurst Bridge was selected for the second part of this Moreton project, there was no in stream reprofiling, only the selection of suitable Willow trees that were hinged and securely wired over pool riffle habitat adding some much needed cover.

Main contractors Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd and Casterbridge Fisheries Limited –