CML’s diversion of the River Taw at Colleton Mills in North Devon has attracted national media attention and is featured in January’s edition of Rail Engineer.
The project gained widespread recognition because of CML and partner WSP‘s innovative solution to permanently divert the river back to its 1800’s course instead of removing and replacing the current retaining wall which was supporting the railway line.
In addition to its engineering ingenuity CML’s ecological approach has received many plaudits. River banks were left intact for otters, a clean cut stone face was provided to replicate sandmartin and kingfisher habitat, willow and hazel trees were staked into the new channel sides at the normal water level, with green shoots appearing within 14 days of planting. To avoid fish being stranded in the abandoned old channel they were captured and relocated. Four thousand fish of all sizes and species were caught over a three day period. the new channel was fully opened at the end of September, in time for the up-stream salmon migration.
The Environment Agency were fulsome in their praise “We were impressed with the manner CML involved the local community. They held open days for the public and organised school visits to the site”.
A few photos below tracking the construction of the new river channel: