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Why restore rivers?

Updated: Apr 21

Norfolk Rivers Ecology carry out river restoration in Norfolk and further afield. River restoration is defined as the process of reinstating natural processes, that in turn restores biodiversity, benefiting wildlife and communities. Historically, rivers across Norfolk have been straightened for navigation, land drainage and food production. These physical modifications have impacted the function of rivers, reducing habitats and biodiversity.


In their natural state, rivers are not the single channel fixed structures that are often found throughout the British countryside. Without human intervention rivers are naturally dynamic multi-channel systems which regularly adjust position with changes in river flows. These multithread systems are more connected to the floodplain, creating a series of wetland habitats which provide several ecosystem services, including increased biodiversity, flood water storage, improved water quality, increase carbon sequestration and improving mental wellbeing.


Much of Norfolk was originally one giant boggy floodplain consisting of these complex river channels, wetlands and wet woodlands. By restoring and rewilding rivers we reinstate these natural processes. Rivers are reconnected to their floodplain to create wetland habitats and large wood and whole trees can be used to create in-channel habitats. Restoration of these habitats benefits both ecosystems and human health.


Climate change has made restoring rivers even more important than ever! Climate change is increasing pressure on rivers even more, resulting in increased flood peaks and summer droughts. River restoration helps make these unique ecosystems more resilient, ensuring healthy flows all year round for fish, invertebrates and birds.


Norfolk Rivers Ecology have extensive experience in designing and implementing river restoration schemes and offer a range of services to deliver restoration projects. For more information click here.



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