NACA Costessey Point Project, fishery restoration

Project Design


2.01 - Conservation & Fisheries

Key SAC features to benefit from the works will be:

• Water Vole (Arvicola terresttris)
• Brook Lamprey (Lamppetra planeri)
• Bullhead (Cottus gobio)
• Otter (Lutra lutra)
• White Clawed Crayfish (Austropotomobius pallipes)
• Water Crowfoot (Ranunculion fluitantis)

E.U. Habitats Directive Annex II species will also benefit, including Barbel (Barbus barbus), and Brown trout (Salmo trutta) which is also a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species.

Other species of fish that are targeted to benefit from the works will be roach, dace and chub.

The scheme also falls within the boundaries of the Department of Environment Food, & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Broads Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). The ESA provides payments to farmers to enter into conservations plans. Components of this design are eligible for ESA funds.
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2.02 - Flood Defence / Development Control

The emphasis of the project will be on design features that either remain neutral or indeed improve the flood conveyance / storage characteristics of the river and its flood plain.

2.03 – Local Heritage, Community and Sustainability

By improving river habitat, the scheme is promoting sustainable conservation management and recreational usage of the Wensum cSAC.

This will be of benefit to local businesses providing local, regional and national anglers the services they require when visiting the area. Increasingly anglers are demanding a high quality ‘experience’ in harmony with sustainable fish populations and the natural environment. For example this type of niche Market is currently being promoted by the Welsh Tourist Board, as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, in partnership with the EA. With the Costessey Point being steeped in such a rich heritage of angling traditions it is hoped that new and older generations of anglers may well once again visit a river restored to its former glory.

The project has already formed a local community partnership (The Costessey Point Project), including local landowners, farmers, fishing clubs and associations. The Environment Agency, DEFRA and The Anglian Rivers and Otters Project have also support the project with staff time and advice. Before forming the partnership membership of the fishing club had fallen to a handful of individuals. The open membership is now in excess of 60 with a healthy waiting list of anglers wishing to support the aims of the project.

The project will provide knock-on benefits for fisheries down-stream. As fish populations expand they will translocate as far as Hellesdon Mill, some 4km downstream. This will provide further benefits to open-access and club fisheries fisheries.

Completion of the project will further stimulate local community interest in the rivers valuable ecological and cultural heritage. It is planned to hold a series of annual open day educational events to promote the Projects management of the river as an example of best practice.