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The lower reaches of the River Rede are in generally better condition than the higher reaches, but ‘flashy’ (quick rising) run-off down gullies from the surrounding moors brings soil to the river, impacting on fish spawning habitat and water quality which in turn impacts on species such as the nationally threatened fresh water mussels. Revitalising Redesdale worked with farmers and landowners across the valley to implement measures that would reduce the amount of sediment entering the main river by looking at ways to reduce the flow and speed of water coming off fields and drains.
One of the projects to address sediment was at Woodburn Hill Farm, East Woodburn. Here, the contractor pushed conifer brash bundles into eroding gullies to reduce the loss of soil to the streams and river. Low flows can trickle through, but the higher flows are slowed while sediment is captured in the brash and bank vegetation. They also built high flow deflectors made of larch logs to push water across the surrounding land, instead of it all flowing down the gullies, and dug ponds to catch sediment.