Bring twenty of the most knowledgeable experts on river restoration in Britain and Ireland together and you can expect some well-informed outputs. Successfully delivered here was the second two-day expert workshop for the IUCN National Committee UK’s ‘River Restoration and Biodiversity’ project, this time hosted by Natural Resources Wales at their offices in Bangor in North Wales, and ably chaired by Phil Boon with support from Angus Tree at Scottish Natural Heritage who has taken on the role of Chair of the project working group following Phil’s retirement. This is an important community of interest in the world of environmental science and has potential to play a role in activities such as delivering the Water Framework Directive, the UK Government’s awaited 25 year plan for the environment and the implementation of the concept of ecological connectivity.
The purpose of the meeting was to consider the way forward for Phase 3 of the project and to look specifically at techniques for restoring biodiversity, how to measure ‘success’ and to establish where suitable places might be for demonstration projects in the five countries. There were several presentations to help stimulate discussion and some of these are available here:
1 Angus Tree_Summary of project progress
2 Judy England_Techniques for restoring biodiversity
3 Sue Hearn_River restoration policies and perspectives in the UK
4 Hamish Moir_Case studies in Scotland
5 Roberto Martinez_Demonstration sites
After much discussion and valuable contributions from all of the attendees, the way forward is somewhat clearer after the workshop and participants are now busy working on a comprehensive spreadsheet of project sites in Britain and Ireland noting their name and location, the river type, restoration techniques used and what monitoring data exists. There remains outstanding the important issue of funding for Phase 3 and where financial support for this work might come from. If you are interested in this field of work and would like to know more, or if you have ideas for potential funding in support of this project, please do make contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org