Wet Woodland Project - Lowthorpe

The following information has been collated by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) and The East Yorkshire Rivers Trust (EYRT), to provide background information on the proposed works and remedies for two discrete blocks of woodland in the headwaters of the River Hull catchment.

The works are funded through the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and administered by the Environment Agency (EA). The two main drivers as defined in the submission to the Environment Agency are to reduce siltation into the main chalk stream that is Lowthorpe Beck and to improve fish spawning habitats. The reduction in siltation is also identified as a primary target in the River Hull Headwaters Restoration Plan as set out in the report commissioned by the Environment Agency and Natural England (NE). Achieving a reduction in siltation will also lead to an improvement in the condition assessment of the chalk stream SSSI adjacent to Neat Holmes wood.

Woodland habitat


Neat Holmes Wood

This woodland can be broken into two areas:

The upper (northern) block of 9.4ha, running upstream from the New Road to Bracey Bridge.

The lower (southern) block of 3ha, running downstream of the New Road. At the southern end of this block a sluice structure allowed for control of water levels and monitored flow of water in the smaller stream known as Rattling water.

The following management is proposed in these two areas:

  • Improve the sluice structure, to improve water control and level management in the southern block of SSSI woodland. Natural England is in support of this action.Benefits include: wider control of water levels in the wood and surrounding land. Wildlife benefits include snipe, woodcock and other wading birds.
  • Removal of non-native plant species including Himalayan balsam, poplar and sycamore, with the tree species used as Large Woody Debris (LWD) and Coarse Woody Debris (CWD) for in-stream habitat improvements.
  • The LWD and CWD work will improve channel morphology for fish including brown trout and brook lamprey, which in turn will increase fry recruitment and survival.
  • Improvements to the current network of smaller side channels within the northern block to create a mosaic wetland habitat within the woodland, through the use of stop logs, re-meandering, LWD and CWD.
  • In the northern block, the woodland area known as The Island (a part of the SSSI) will have skylighting work done using a 360 tracked machine brought in on mats to minimise ground impacts. This work will reduce stream shading along Lowthorpe Beck SSSI. In-channel works using green engineering (LWD, CWD, willow/alder spiling and mattresses) will accompany this work to reduce siltation.


Quintin Bottom Wood

This area of woodland is to the north of Bracey Bridge and is in one discrete block of 14.4ha. Work will be undertaken to build upon successful works carried out in 2009/10. This work was done to improve recruitment of wild brown trout and the proposed work will enhance this.

  • Further skylighting to the wood, to increase light to the chalk streams in turn leading to improvements in fish habitat.
  • A fish ramp installed at Bracey Bridge (where the stream passes under the lay-by road) will improve passage for fry and young fish into the upper headwaters where mosaic stream habitat is greater.
  • Use of LWD, CWD and cover logs within the braided stream network will further improve fry survival and increase areas of fish refuge.
  • Reduction in erosion and repair of eroded area of stream at Bracey Bridge Mill field corner.


Cover log


For any further information or queries please contact us.