River Ely – St Georges


  1. Name of Project:

Clearance of multi-tree log-jam on the River Ely at St. George’s. Grid Ref. 10218 76813

  1. Purpose:

To allow migratory fish access to an additional 1.5Km upstream of St. George’s to the other log-jam at Peterston Super Ely and to eventually access to the spawning gravels in the headwaters and tributaries of the River Ely.

  1. Description of project:

This multi-tree log-jam was identified by EAW as a barrier to fish migration during one of their river walk over surveys and was viewed by SEWRT representatives during 2009.

The log-jam consisted of approx. 12 very large trees and root plates which blocked approx. ¾ of the river width and extended downstream for approx. 15metres. It had been compacted with silt over time adding to the difficulties for removal and the blockage had caused some erosion of both banks, due to deflected high winter river flows.

Contractors were approached to carry out this clearance work and quotations received and eventually accepted. However, confusion over the method of funding grants from WAG caused long delays in the commencement this project.

Establishing land ownerships for permission to access the site of this log-jam proved very difficult, but eventually, with the contractor’s assistance we managed to identify and contact the various land owners and obtained the necessary permissions.

Clearance work eventually commenced on Wednesday 13th October 2010 and was completed to our satisfaction on Saturday 16th October. There was excellent vehicle access to the site of the log-jam, allowing the contractors to utilise 4 wheeled drive vehicles and more robust/heavy duty lifting gear, together with, Winches, Tirfors and Chainsaws, etc. They did however, experience some difficulties in removing some of the very large trees and root plates, which had been become heavily compacted with silt.

    1. 4. Photographic evidence of the multi-tree log-jam before, during and after clearance work shows details of the initial problem, gradual progress in clearing and finally the cleared site

      1. 5. The removed woody materials were removed away from the river and stored on the LH bank in stock piles for use as fuel, if required. Some of the largest tree trunks and root plates were laid into the eroded areas of river bank as revetments.
      2. 6. The effectiveness of removing this log-jam will be monitored during and after the winter floods, to visually check that access for migratory fish is being maintained and the analysis of future EAW electro-fishing surveys, will hopefully confirm the presence of migratory fish fry/parr upstream of this site, indicating that migratory fish had naturally spawned upstream of this location.
      3. 7. Funding for this project was provided from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) via the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).
      1. D. Walkley