Weir installed on Tickenham Moor to attract wildlife

Matthew Street, Dan Alsop, Mary Trump, Stewart Plant and Sean Bromley at the weir on Tickenham Moor.

Matthew Street, Dan Alsop, Mary Trump, Stewart Plant and Sean Bromley at the weir on Tickenham Moor. - Credit: Archant

A tilting weir has been installed on a site of special scientific interest in Tickenham to encourage wading birds to nest in the area.

National Grid has partnered with the landowner and Natural England to build a moveable weir on Tickenham Moor, between Nailsea and Tickenham.

The contraption will retain and raise water levels in the marshy wetland, encouraging wading birds to feed and breed in the area.

The idea was proposed during consultation on the Hinkley Connection Project by local resident and North Somerset conservation advisor for Natural England Mary Trump, with support from landowner Stewart Plant and the North Somerset drainage board.

Mary Trump said: "The wetlands are a precious resource, and Natural England was very pleased at how National Grid and J Murphy and Sons worked together to install the tilting weir. The tilting weir is an impressive feature. Unlike traditional sluices, it can be safely and accurately adjusted so we get just the right amount of water to support flora and fauna in this site of special scientific interest year-round, creating stability for existing wildlife and attracting wintering wildfowl and wading birds.

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"Peat moors like this also assist with carbon capture and flood mitigation."

The weir was built by National Grid's contractor J Murphy and Sons to a Dutch plan, with a specific design for the location by Dan Alsop.

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Construction of the weir was added to the National Grid's project programme, which involves building a new 57km high-voltage electricity connection between Bridgwater and Seabank near Avonmouth to link new sources of power in the area.

More: Work on underground cables starts in Nailsea.

Landowner Stewart Plant said: "Seeing the weir being installed has been a fascinating process. It's a great engineering design, which makes the best use of the marshland during the wetter months, and it's satisfying to know it will have a positive impact for wildlife."

Tony Dyas, lead project manager for National Grid, said the company was working closely with landowners along route.

He added: "We are delighted to be able to install this tilting weir to enhance the natural environment for wildlife and for visitors and residents."

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