Shipley Weir RemovalCreating fish passage on the River Adur
The focus of the project at Shipley was to remove two weir structures from the main river channel as it flows through the Knepp Estate, complementing the ongoing re-wilding project which the Knepp Estate has been undertaking for the past ten years.
Both of these structures had been constructed for agricultural purposes and were no longer required by the landowners and serve no flow gauging function for the Environment Agency. One of the structures (Shipley Tilting Gate) had broken in the upright position, causing a blockage to fish passage and impounding water for approximately 600m upstream. The second structure was Shipley Penstock which was upstream of the tilting gate and created a complete blockage to all fish species. Whilst the removal of all the boards from the Shipley Penstock structure was enough to create multi species fish passage without the complete removal of the structure and subsequent replacement of a tractor bridge, the Shipley Tilting Gate needed to be removed in its entirety.
For the removal of the tilting gate the Environment Agency Operations Delivery Team were contracted to undertake the works. Following a period of consultation with the local community, who had some concerns about the impact of removing the weir on the overall ecology of the area, work commenced in September 2013 and saw the structure removed and the construction of an in-channel berm to narrow the channel and provide stability to the banks. The project was successfully completed and we are now seeing some geomorphologic changes to the channel and banks which are combining to create in-channel habitat without the need for further enhancement works.