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Plans for Colwick Park Fish Pass unveiled at community engagement event

Environment Agency

September 24
10:07 2021

  • Plans for the largest fish pass in the country to be shared at Colwick Country Park event
  • Improvements for the passage of fish in the River Trent catchment, including salmon
  • Scheme will provide 18.6 million of environmental benefits

Construction of the Colwick (Holme Sluices) fish pass project will commence this autumn and run until 2023. It is the first scheme of the ambitious Trent Gateway Partnership which aims to remove all barriers to fish migration along the River Trent.

Holme Sluices, owned by the Environment Agency, is the largest single barrier to fish migration on the River Trent. The sluice gates span the river and maintain different upstream and downstream water levels, leaving fish unable to pass through.

Simon Ward, Fisheries Technical Specialist at the Environment Agency, said:

We are excited to share our plans for what will be the largest fish pass in the country. Our priority is to open up the River Trent for all fish species through the ambitions of the Trent Gateway Partnership, starting with the Colwick (Holme Sluices) fish pass.

There are a number of barriers to fish migration within the River Trent catchment, including Holme Sluices, which is the largest barrier to the natural migration of fish in the Midlands. By installing fish passage, it will become easier for salmon and other fish to reach their spawning and feeding grounds.

We are working with partners to improve the situation and hope that the Colwick Park fish pass will serve as a catalyst for other Trent Gateway projects, which will in turn enhance the river and boost the local economy.

We will work with Nottingham City Council to make Colwick Country Park in Nottingham the hub for Trent Gateway. Plans could include a visitor centre telling the story of the Trent, its history, ecology and how it has shaped communities along its length for centuries.

The benefits of the new fish pass include enabling access to additional spawning habitat upstream, with the potential to increase the number of fish species in the River Trent, promote awareness of fish passes and river equality, provide educational and engagement opportunities, and attract more visits by anglers to the area and boost the local economy.

Cllr Rosemary Healy, Lead for Parks, Open Spaces and the Public Realm, added:

We are absolutely delighted that Colwick fish pass work will be starting soon. We are proud that Colwick will be home to the largest fish pass in the country, it will bring huge bio-diversity benefits to Colwick Country Park including increasing the number of fish species in the River Trent.

The community drop-in event will be held at the entrance to Colwick Country Park from 12 noon to 6 pm on Tuesday 5 October 2021.

Further details about the project are available on our dedicated Colwick (Holme Sluices) fish pass webpage: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/east-midlands/holme-sluices-fish-pass.

Notes to editors

  • Holme Sluices is a major flood risk management structure that spans the full width of the River Trent - the third longest river in the country - to the south of Nottingham and helps to protect Nottingham from flooding. It was built in the 1950s as part of a large scale flood defence scheme.

  • The Environment Agency has a duty to improve watercourses and develop, maintain and enhance fisheries. The deep vertical slot fish pass will be 200 metres long, 6 metres wide and 6 metres deep and constructed around the Environment Agency compound. It is broken up into a series of 21 ascending chambers into which the water flows through narrow slots. All fish species can swim through these slots and rest in the next chamber above before continuing their journey up the pass and into the river above. It will also include an eel pass to help support the critically endangered European Eel as well as a public viewing platform so people can try and spot fish as they make their way through the pass.

  • The cost of construction of the Colwick (Holme Sluices) fish pass is 8.5 million. The direct environmental benefits of the fish pass will be 18.6 million. This includes 60 kilometres of river improvement from poor to good status for fish, as well as 60 kilometres of new spawning habitat immediately upstream of the barrier. It will also aid interconnectivity with numerous other fish passage schemes previously constructed upstream by the Environment Agency.

  • The Trent Gateway project is part of the Lower Trent and Erewash Catchment Partnership, hosted by the Trent Rivers Trust, who are leading on the development of projects to further enhance the river and deliver the ambition of Trent Gateway. 30 local partner organisations, including the Environment Agency, have been developing the ambitious project to restore the River Trent and reconnect communities and wildlife within it. The aim is to create a healthy watercourse that not only reduces flood risk and provides better wildlife habitats but also engages local communities about the natural and social history of the river.

  • Our Trent Gateway plans for the River Trent will open up 410 kilometres of main river plus many smaller tributaries for all species. It is one of the premier coarse fishing rivers in the UK, with anglers travelling from all over the country to fish. We aim to further improve fish populations, increase day and holiday visits to the Midlands and boost the local economy.

  • Colwick Country Park is owned and run by Nottingham City Council. The Environment Agency will work with the council to make Colwick Country Park in Nottingham the hub for Trent Gateway. Future plans could include a visitor centre telling the story of the Trent, its history, ecology and how it has shaped communities along its length for centuries. Discussions have taken place with the council and Heritage Lottery Fund.

  • For further information visit the dedicated Colwick (Holme Sluices) fish pass webpage: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/east-midlands/holm

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