Royal HaskoningDHV picks up award at the prestigious UK River Prize 2015

Posted: Thursday 4th June 2015

The River Adur Knepp Castle Estate river restoration project has won the Innovative and Novel Project category at this year’s UK River Prize.

The project team, including designer Royal HaskoningDHV, has been praised for its work on the West Sussex scheme, winning the category at this week’s (May 19 2015) award ceremony.

The awards were set up by the River Restoration Centre to inspire and celebrate innovation and best practice in river restoration and catchment management.

Using a Nature Driven Design philosophy, Royal HaskoningDHV’s team of geomorphologists, ecologists and engineers worked in partnership with the Knepp Castle Estate, Environment Agency, Natural England and Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust to develop innovative designs for the restoration of the river. The restoration of the upper reaches of the River Adur lies at the heart of the largest rewilding project in lowland UK.

Dr Ian Dennis, Geomorphology and River Restoration Practice Lead at Royal HaskoningDHV, said “We are delighted that our work has been recognised in this way. The problem we faced was that the channel had been diverted and enlarged, which meant that there was very low flow, the river was also disconnected from its floodplain.

“This meant that it was a poor habitat for fish, plants and invertebrates. Our work involved creating new channels as well as removing the four redundant weirs. We also created two new backwaters and blocked drainage ditches to retain water on the floodplain and support the development of natural wetland habitats.”

Royal HaskoningDHV was asked to design the project back in 2009 and construction work was completed in July 2014.

A spokesman for the River Restoration Centre said: “The UK River Prize has attracted an exceptional and diverse group of projects from across the four countries and demonstrates how much passion and effort goes into restoring the health and vitality of our rivers. The standard of work carried out by charities, volunteers, local partnerships and agencies, in restoring their cherished river, is exceptionally high. Each of the category winners had to really justify their top spot.”

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