2. Middle Ouse Restoration of Physical Habitats (MORPH)

Themes: Fisheries; Natural rivers


  • 2. All constraints and risks to the establishment of thriving fish populations (comprising an appropriate range of species) within the Adur and Ouse systems will be identified.
  • 10. Identify, research and find funding sources for re-naturalisation projects throughout the catchment.
  • 19. The effects, on fish and fisheries, of restoring rivers to a more natural state will be clearly identified and taken into account in river restoration plans.

Project description

A project to deliver a strategic action plan for the middle Ouse, to improve ecological status, wider biodiversity and natural flood risk management.  

The river Ouse has been modifed over time for flood risk management, navigation, water abstraction and agriculture.  Consequently the river contains numerous flow-regulating structures, many of which present a considerable barrier to fish migration at key periods of their life cycle.  This contributes to the low diversity and abundance of fish stocks within this sub-catchment, which is causing many stretches of the river to fail the Water Framework Directive.

This project aims to identify and remove, or modify, obstructions in conjunction with watercourse restoration.  This work will improve habitat diversity and fish passage, as well as helping to reduce the risk of flooding (typically by creating areas for flood water storage).  The project is focusing on the middle stretches of the main river Ouse and associated tributaries.

An initial comprehensive list of in-channel obstructions has been rationalised to a priority shortlist of 15 sites for detailed options appraisal and improvement. Click on projects 5 to 15 on the project map for information and progress on each site.

Project type: River restoration
WFD status: Moderate
WFD overall status objective: Good
Benefiting species/habitats: Fish, in-channel and marginal aquatic flora and fauna
Total area covered by project: Middle Ouse and it's tributaries
Project lead: OART
Project partners: Environment Agency
Funding source: Environment Agency
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Project start: April 2011

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.