Environment Agency weir refurbishment and fish pass project underway in Surrey

Mackley has completed two of seven weir refurbishments – designed to reduce the risk of flooding and improve fish stocks by installing fish passes along the River Wey in Surrey – for the Environment Agency.

The £9m Wey Weirs Refurbishment and Fish Pass Project is being carried out by Mackley as part of Team Van Oord, and consists of replacement, refurbishment and repair works to seven weir sites, re-using the headgear to replicate the existing structures, alongside installing fish/eel passes on the River Wey Navigation between Guildford and Weybridge.

The scheme is a working partnership project between the Environment Agency, National Trust, Surrey County Council, Guildford Borough Council, Woking Borough Council, Elmbridge Borough Council and local landowners.

The Wey Navigation (first opened 1653) forms a continuous waterway which provides a 20-mile navigable route from the River Thames between Weybridge, from Hamm Court, via Guildford to Godalming. The Navigation consists of a man-made canal and adapted (dredged and straightened) stretches of the River Wey.

The River Wey Improvement Scheme weirs, which the Environment Agency owns, control water levels for the purposes of navigation and flood conveyance and are in urgent need of repair or reconstruction to prevent operational or structural failure.

The seven sites covered by the project are:

  • Hamm Oils Mill Weir and bypass channel fish pass, Weybridge
  • Walsham Weir and naturalised fish pass, Ripley
  • Newark and Abbey Weir and fish passes, Woking
  • Broadmead Weir and fish pass, Woking
  • Bowers Mill Weir, Guildford
  • Stoke Mill Weir, Guildford
  • Millmead Weir and naturalised fish pass, Guildford

The works also include: construction of two naturalised fish pass channels one at Walsham and one at Millmead; two Larinier fish passes (with eel passes alongside) at Hamm Oils Mill; and two new eel passes at Newark and Broadmead. These new passes will help to open up fish and eel passage along 100km of the River Wey channels.

The first two weirs, at Hamm Oils Mill and Walsham, were successfully completed and handed over last month. The existing gated weir structure and walkways have been replaced.

The new passes at these two sites were the first part of a chain that will allow fish and eels to migrate from the River Thames to new feeding and breeding areas – which, in turn, will improve populations of coarse fish species, salmon and sea trout in the River Wey.

Ongoing works
Works are ongoing at a number of other sites including Newark and Abbey Weir – where Newark Weir is being refurbished with the installation of an eel pass. A design is currently being developed for a new fish pass on the nearby Abbey Weir.

Work is also currently progressing at Bowers Mill Weir, including the construction of a new 12 ton tow path bridge. Work on all seven weirs is scheduled for completion by October 2021.

19 June 2019

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