Inland Fisheries Habitat Restoration Project 2020-21

All inland fisheries habitat restoration works carried out in Wales under our 1st project (2020 – 2021) by work type; Fish passage / Habitat Restoration.

Following from our inland fisheries habitat surveys, priority actions for the restoration of Welsh inland fisheries have been identified.

Issues found include; barriers to fish migration, damaged or degraded riparian habitats (including erosion), over or under shading, invasive Non-Native Species (INNS), damage from livestock poaching or grazing, and adjacent land use problems(such as soil, herbicide, pesticide, nutrient run off), etc.

In 2020, Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales facilitated £1,060,000 of funding for Afonydd Cymru and the Rivers Trust movement in Wales in order to undertake prioritised actions.

Our joint aims throughout this project were to:

• Increase habitat connectivity and quality – both in stream and riparian corridors – through the removal / easement of barriers and the restoration of in stream features.

• Reduce negative impacts to watercourses through riparian fencing – limiting livestock access, reducing localised poaching and erosion and allowing a buffer strip along the water corridor.




Combined benefit

Expected outcomes

Fish Passage Easement and in stream blockage removals

Severn, Clwyd, Wygyr, Wye, Usk, Ystwyth, Rheidol, Tywi, Eastern Cleddau, Teifi, Taff, Ebw, & Rhymney

36  easement  projects delivered, or preparatory works undertaken, enabling 452.4km of fish passage over all projects.

Restoration of  in  stream  connectivity  and  open  river  systems  for migratory species to access improtant spawning headwaters.

Riparian restoration: Fencing Erected, trees planted. Other forms of habitat restoration  are adding  in  stream  flow  diversity  and  substrate  (gravel)  restoration.

Thaw, Ely, Rhymney, Tywi, Teifi, Western Cleddau, Dee, Wye, Usk, Conwy, Clwyd, Anglesey & Severn

72 habitat restoration projects were delivered, resulting in 101.67km of riparian restoration.

Riparian fencing excludes livestock from watercourse, allows  vegetation  to  grow, adding  habitat  and  connectivity  for  wildlife,  stabilizes  the riverbanks, allows dappled shading & the addition of leaf litter. Wide, vegetated riparian zones buffer against run off (soil, nutrients, etc.).

An example of fish passage easement works:

BEFORE: The large (2.5m) boulder and fallen tree/debris blockage in a gorge just upstream of a rock-ramp easement.

AFTER: The cleared obstruction with boulder pre-barrage in the foreground.

Evidence that the intervention has been a success
Two trout/seatrout redds observed upstream of the fish easements in November 2020. This is significant as NRW electrofishing data shows no salmonids upstream of the project site in recent years.

An example of habitat restoration works:



Evidence that the intervention has been a success: a migratory fish redd observed directly within one habitat restoration site.