March 12th saw me heading down to Ramsbury, near Marlborough in Wiltshire to meet with “Action for the River Kennet” group (ARK: http://www.riverkennet.org/ ) on the invitation of Jenny Harker who had also organised for Charlotte Hitchmough (ARK director) and Eddie Starr (local river keeper) to attend. Along with able assistance from the young Riverfly Partnership monitoring volunteers (http://www.riverflies.org/ ) we set about constructing the apparatus in Jenny’s kitchen. http://www.ephemeroptera.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/ ). On the way we passed the amazing relic on Jenny’s wall which was the fragment of propeller from her great grandfather’s plane – salvaged after he was shot down by the Red Baron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_von_Richthofen) during the first World War.
Weirs and the Backwards Ways that Rivers Work One of my favourite sayings on river restoration is a mangled quote from a movie "... boxing is an unnatural act. Everything in boxing is backwards: sometimes the best way to deliver a punch is to step backwards...but step back too far and you ain't fighting at all ". So my mangled version starts out "Everything in rivers is backwards...". Basically, I never seem to run out of new examples of "what SEEMS to happen in a river is actually the complete opposite of what really happens". The rest of this article looks at many of the "backwards" things about weirs and rivers - and finishes off with a real-world case-study that is playing out right now on the River Dove . One spoiler alert is that, from an ecological point of view, it is almost always safe to assume that: The best biological outcome for a river is the removal of some or all of an artificial weir. Now, I don't exp