The stream is known locally as Gypsey Race and will flow along a green corridor through the town centre that provides pleasant walking and cycling routes, play areas and improved habitats for wildlife.
As a regular visitor to Bridlington with his family, APEM’s head of hydrology, Dan Cadman, has a personal interest in the project.
Dan said: “Like many rivers and streams, over the years Gypsey Race was straightened and altered, partly with the aim of reducing flooding. But no matter how well intentioned, these changes left the stream constrained within an artificial channel, lacking in wildlife and cut off from the community.
“The regeneration scheme will transform it, bringing back wildlife and creating a fantastic amenity for local people. It’s also a great route for visitors between the station and the harbour and beaches.”
APEM’s scientists are advising a series of steps that will help to rejuvenate the stream by mimicking some natural features.
Proposals include the creation of low artificial sediment benches, known as berms, on either bank to recreate a more natural, meandering path for the stream, alongside other improvements to the channel bed and banks, as well as the creation of partial shade to enhance habitat for wild plants and fish.
The changes could be made even though the stream remains within its artificial walls, while the berms may be constructed by reworking materials from the existing stream bed. As a result, changes to the shape of the river can be made with very little impact on its capacity to carry flood waters.
Chalk streams provide a distinctive habitat and because the porous chalk acts as filter the water in them is often particularly clear and clean. Normally scientists would expect to see species like brown trout, sea trout and eels, but these are thought to be present in Gypsey Race only in very small numbers.
As well as increasing numbers of fish, scientists are aiming to see the return of typical chalk stream plants like water crowfoot, starwort, reed sweet-grass and water speedwell.
Work began on the £5 million regeneration scheme in February. Phase one – also delivered with support from APEM – is expected to be finished in autumn 2018, with phase two ready by autumn 2019.
If you have any queries, please contact Dan Cadman, head of hydrology.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.