Project: River Arun Restoration

Client Name: Arun and Rother Connections. (Project managed by RSPB)

Partners: RSPB | Environment Agency | Sussex Wildlife Trust | South Downs National Park Authority | Natural England | West Sussex County Council  | The new Arun and Rother Rivers Trust

River Arun RestorationIn November 2012 WLW Ltd were awarded a contract to design a restoration scheme for 13kms of the River Arun in Sussex. We understood that, in order to design an appropriate and sustainable enhancement scheme, it was necessary to have a thorough understanding of the geomorphology, hydrology and ecology of the river system.

We therefore contracted and worked closely with Dr Phil Soar, a geomorphologist from Portsmouth University , and the ecologist Jonathan Cox. The River Arun is subject to spate flows in excess of 30cumecs.

In order to arrive at the chosen designs the project team asked the following questions:

  • What did the river look like and how did it function prior to anthropogenic alteration?
  • What modifications have taken place to the river an d its catchment area?
  • To what extent can the modifications be reversed?
  • What are the appropriate enhancement measures that will meet the project objectives?

It was necessary to work to tight deadlines in order to complete the design report within the permitted time frame. The report was completed and subsequently formed part of a successful HLF funding bid. Plans are now being developed for a full program of work worth over £2m for three years from 2013. This includes plans to apply for a full HLF grant of just over £900,000 for the project.

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