Following the successful Town Mill Fish Pass constructed in 2012, ARK have recently completed phase two of the fish easement work in Marlborough.
Phase 1 of the project was at the site of the old Mill Wheel at Town Mill, Marlborough. It replaced the waterfall with a series of smaller steps which fish are able to swim up. This second phase addressed passage across the larger sluices on the right bank of the mill channel upstream of Town Mill, by Cooper’s Meadow and has created a natural channel for fish to swim down, avoiding the large sluice gates.
Given the relatively large fish population in the downstream channel these sluices were a significant impediment to fish migration in spite of the Phases 1 modifications. They prevented fish migration during all normal flows, and the new alternative will enable fish to pass during most flow conditions.
As well as creating a new route for fish to swim around the Mill, the new stream has created an ideal habitat for fish spawning and for juvenille fish . The new sarsen lined bypass channel provides an additional length of flow dependent habitat which will be colonised by a range of species which prefer fast moving water
Reopening sections of the river gives wild fish a much better chance to thrive.
Funded by Defra’s Catchment Restoration Fund the work was carried out by contractors and volunteers.