River restoration was recently described to me as being more of an art than a science. Well, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that it is a somewhat subjective practice. That isn’t to say we can’t lay down some guidelines. What should we always try and do when we’re doing river restoration?
DO engage stakeholders: a large element of river restoration work involves educating people about the way in which our watercourses would naturally function. Additionally, by including different people you can better appreciate the multitude of concerns likely to arise from your planned works. An increasing number of projects are involving volunteers, which is both instructive and cost-effective.
DO get expert opinions: Try and get as much independent, expert advice as possible. People’s notions of what constitutes good river restoration may be distorted through experience, training or personal bias. It’s only in the last decade or so that applied fluvial geomorphology…
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