Strategic Design and Delivery of Integrated Catchment Restoration Monitoring: Emerging Lessons from a 12-Year Study in the UK

Chris Spray (Lead / Corresponding author), Andrew Black, David Bradley, Chris Bromley, Fiona Caithness, Jennifer Dodd, James Hunt, Alan MacDonald, Roberto Martinez Romero, Tommy McDermott, Hamish Moir, Lorraine Quinn, Helen Reid, Hamish Robertson

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Abstract

Despite growing interest in river and catchment restoration, including a focus on nature-based solutions, assessing effectiveness of restoration programmes continues to prove a challenge. The development of the Eddleston Water project, the Scottish Government’s empirical study of the impact of implementing natural flood management measures on flood risk and habitat restoration, provides the opportunity to review restoration monitoring at a strategic and operational level for this long-running catchment restoration programme. The project has implemented an extensive range of restoration measures along the river and across the 69 km2 catchment. This paper reviews the monitoring strategy and assesses both how the monitoring network developed meets its strategic aims and what subsequent changes were made in monitoring design and implementation. Covering hydrology, hydromorphology and ecology, we explore how all three are integrated to provide a comprehensive assessment of restoration success. Lessons to help inform other river rehabilitation monitoring programmes include the importance of a scoping study and capturing the full range of environmental variables pre-restoration; the limitations of BACI designs; and the need to focus integrated monitoring on a process-based framework and impact cascade, whilst also covering the full trajectory of recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2305
Number of pages26
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number15
Early online date25 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • aquatic ecology
  • monitoring
  • natural flood management
  • river restoration

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