Penstock weirs were constructed and installed to replace wooden slates in two concrete sluices for the two large lakes at East Chevington Nature Reserve, in Druidge Bay, Northumberland. The removal of stop logs from the channel and installation of the weirs allowed for improved, more user-friendly, water level management negating the risk of the loss of the largest complex of reed beds and the ensuing impact, in the county.
Penstock weirs measured 1600mm by 1530mm and 1530mm by 2230mm. A gantry was also installed over the drop boards to allow for ease of access in order to implement adjustments.
Reinstatement and re-profiling of 700m of drainage ditches leading to the lakes allowed them to function correctly after 50cm deep sediment was also cleared from the outflow channels and lake entrances. Re-profiling works to create smaller ponds were carried out within the South Lake and reedbeds and mudflats formed in the North Lake.
Extreme weather delayed commencement by 3 weeks, so the programme was required to be split into two phases to accommodate the nesting season of Marsh Harriers. Through collaboration with NWT it was agreed that works to the North Lake be completed in January and the works to the South Lake would be completed in the following August to accommodate this.
The ability to effectively manage the reed beds ensure that resident species such as Marsh Harriers, Cetti’s Warbler, Bearded Titis, Otter, and Harvest Mouse will continue to thrive in this Site of Specific Scientific Interest and prime habitat for breeding.