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Natural Flood Management locations

Cotswolds Tributaries

River Isbourne

Beesmoor Brook, a major upstream tributary of the River Isbourne

Download a map of the Beesmoor Brook area

In spring 2019, eight large woody structures were installed along a stretch of the Beesmoor Brook, at Waterhatch, Charlton Abbotts. The structures were of two designs; the first consisting of a number of locally sourced tree trunks (Ash and Alder) coppiced and placed across the watercourse, and onto the river banks. The second consisting of hazel bundles, which used much smaller, hazel trees coppiced and tied together in a bundle and attached to a 'hazel frame' secured into the river bed. The type of structure used was determined by the riparian conditions i.e. what trees were apparent and whether river banks were steep-sided, or shallow and flat.

Although there were different dam types, both have the same benefits and are built in such a way that base and low flows are unimpeded, meaning wildlife and fish can also get through, but during times of higher flows the dams slow the flow of water travelling downstream, increase upstream attenuation and trap sediment. 

During high flows each dam will slow the flow and hold back water in upstream areas, so decreasing the amount of water travelling downstream. Collectively with other NFM features within the catchment this will reduce flooding for downstream communities. Other benefits will include the development of increased wetland areas, which will lead to an increase in biodiversity and habitat formation. Water quality should also be increased due to the trapping of sediment.

In September 2019 a further 19 dams were built upstream of the previous 9 at Waterhatch. 11 are located on the Cole’s Hill tributary and a further 8 at Willis’ Coppice. This gives us a total of 28 dams in place on the Charlton Abbotts Estate.

A map showing the 28 dams:

View the total of 28 dams in place on the Charlton Abbotts Estate

Contact has been made with landowners further downstream on the Beesmoor Brook, and it is hoped that further dams will be implemented in Spring 2020.

Download a map of current dam locations

Examples of the leaky woody structures in the Beesmoor Brook:

Example of the leaky woody structures in the Beesmoor Brook
Example of a dam Beesmoor Brook

Snowshill

Download a map of the Snowshill site

NFM landscaping work has been undertaken at a farm in Snowshill. This is at the top of the catchment, where the slopes are extremely steep and run-off is a major problem during heavy rainfall events. The work undertaken involved re-shaping the landscape to divert water to naturally low lying areas. This was achieved by the use of scrapes and small attenuation bunds. Scrapes were undertaken in order to divert water from the hillside to low-lying natural depressions. Stored water in these natural depressions will naturally Infiltrate and so be ‘removed’ from the system.

There are also several springs flowing through the area; 150mm diameter pipes were installed at the low point to allow a base flow at all times, with clay bunds created to attenuate and hold back the water during high flow events. The clay was obtained from upstream of the bund, so creating a depression/storage area and the bunds were tied in to high ground on either side.

Merry Brook

Download a map of the Merry Brook area

In Spring 2019 seven woody structures were installed in the Merry Brook. Each structure consists of a number of locally sourced tree trunks (Ash and Alder) and branches which will allow base and low flows to pass unimpeded, but interact with elevated flows to increase upstream attenuation and trap sediment. During high flows each dam will slow the flow and hold back water in upstream areas, so decreasing the amount of water travelling downstream. Collectively with other NFM features within the catchment this will reduce flooding for downstream communities. Other benefits will include the development of increased wetland areas, which will lead to an increase in biodiversity and habitat formation. Water quality should also be increased due to the trapping of sediment.

Examples of the leaky woody structures in Merry Brook:

Examples of the leaky woody structures in the Merry Brook
Example of a dam Merry Brook