Knepp Castle Channel Enhancements

Creating in-channel habitat

Over the past ten years the Knepp Estate, located just south of Horsham on the River Adur, has undertaken a re-wilding project, a part of which has seen the Environment Agency restore the river back to its historical, meandering course. Following the excavation of the channel the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust, in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Wild Trout Trust, have undertaken four days of work to install woody features into the river channel which will provide habitat for fish and invertebrates as well as creating bank stabilisation and protection from the free roaming livestock.

The first two days were undertaken in October 2014 with volunteers from all organisations along with WWF and installed a number of features such as log deflectors and a brushwood berm as well as relocating trees from within the estate to the river banks in order to provide shaded areas.

The second part of the project was undertaken in March 2015 by the same partnership and saw a number of woody features created on the bank faces of the river in an attempt to reduce the level of poaching by livestock which is currently occurring. Using  wooden stakes for support the banks are packed with brushwood to capture silt during high flows and enable vegetation to begin to establish. These features were created through a 500m section of the river and we will monitor their effectiveness as a livestock deterrent.

The river restoration within the grounds of the Estate has, in addition to the creation of habitat, also seen four weir structures removed and a number of floodplain enhancements undertaken and was a finalist in the 2015 River Restoration Centre UK River Prize.

A truly inspiring project for which we thank the Knepp Estate staff and all the volunteers who helped out over the four days of work for this phase.

For more information on the Knepp Estate re-wilding project visit

Jim the Fish

Jim's Diary

Country ramblings from OART field officer Jim Smith

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