SH July 20 Newsletter final - Flipbook - Page 17
RESTORATION ISSUES - TOO
MUCH OR NOT ENOUGH WATER!
Many if not all quarry restoration schemes require a comprehensive
understanding of the future hydrological and hydrogeological regimes which
influence a site and in some cases how these may have changed over time. The
success of restoration schemes with a nature conservation objective in particular
can hinge on getting it right at the design and implementation stages but also
requires appropriate management post restoration and into aftercare.
Get it wrong and reed beds, wet grassland, lakes, ponds, wet scrapes etc can
all fail to deliver the biodiversity potential promised and result in substantial
unbudgeted costs to rectify issues during aftercare to meet stakeholder
Rising water levels in restored lakes resulting in localised flooding of adjacent land can have significant cost
implications. Often insufficient flexibility has been built into approved restoration schemes to accommodate
seasonal fluctuations in water level or extreme weather events. It is not uncommon that approved restoration
schemes simply prove to be unachievable – especially those that were initially conceived many years ago.
Compounding the issue is often the inappropriate handling of soils during stripping, storage and restoration
which can also result in costly future drainage issues. All too often it can appear that there is either too much
or not enough water to deliver the restoration objectives however in most cases schemes are achievable if
they are designed to be more resilient to change and implementation works are carefully monitored on site
by an experienced professional.
Recent experience suggests that climate change is having a significant impact on ground water levels and the
frequency of flood events. In some cases, changes to the operational management of rivers by the EA is also
undoubtably having an effect on drainage locally.
The Landscape Architects from Stephenson Halliday coordinate specialist consultants in hydrology,
hydrogeology, drainage and engineering and liaise closely with key stakeholders such as the EA and
local drainage boards. In doing so, and bringing to bear their considerable expertise in this field, they can
deliver robust restoration schemes which are resilient to change and minimise long term costs associated
with aftercare and extended management periods the likes of which are soon to be a requirement when
biodiversity net gain becomes mandatory.