River Cole Case Study

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Background/Description | Advantages | Disadvantages | The River Cole is a tributary of the River Thames in England which flows through Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.The river flows through National Trust land with many mills adjacent the river that have altered it by straightening and pollution.The river had become polluted and has been restored in the past few years by allowing it to flow on its natural course and by redeveloping the river bed. The actions taken include raising the river bed to create natural flood meadows and floodplains and putting in meanders to recreate a natural environment. The restoration works were carried out in 1995 by the River Restoration Project as one of three EU-LIFE demonstration projects. The River Restoration Centre hold a selection of report and documents detailing the restoration of the River Cole. | * Reintroduced Wildlife to the area * New wetlands * Reduced the risk of flooding * Improved fertility of surrounding land * Prevents floods downstream * More pleasant environment * Aesthetically pleasing * Improved water quality * Improved biodiversity. * Safe recreation for children * Benefits on good environments for mental health * Ability to reach the river for activities such as fishing and canoeing * Huge learning potential * Wetlands provide protection from predators * Wetlands intercept storm runoff * Low maintenance | * The floodplain was agricultural land and farmers were unhappy to have marshland developing nearby * Meander would take up more space * River would still flood naturally * Inundate and damage anything growing at the time of flooding. * Flood risk may be increased in some cases of river restoration * Not able to regain some of the natural channel due to man-made development or infrastructure * Can be expensive to correct the river back to its original state *

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