In a bid to reconnect a river with its natural floodplain, the National Trust and Natural Resources Wales are beginning on a 1km river restoration project to help slow the flow of water and attract more wildlife, such as brown trout and otter, to the Afon Machno in Snowdonia.
Dewi Davies, Upper Conwy Catchment Project Manager, National Trust said, “This is the first time we’re aware of an industrial conveyor belt being used to move stone/gravel from one side of the river to the other. This enables us to get the work done without disturbing the river bed.”
The previously modified section of river includes a steep shingle bank that prevents water reaching the original floodplain. By lowering part of the steep bank the project aims to re-connect the river to its natural floodplain at times of peak flow. In addition to helping alleviate flooding and the build-up of sediment downstream this will help restore a more natural braided river, favourable to wildlife such as brown trout and otter.
Dewi added, “We’ve been planning this work for 2 years, having commissioned the River Restoration Centre to carry out a scoping study suggesting the best way forward and liaising with the local community, so it’s great to see it all coming together.”