Survey of the river Uck tributaries

Site reference: Uck tributaries

An extensive suite of 32 walkovers of the tributaries to the main river Uck, to assess current conditions and identify future opportunities for improvements.

The river Uck is the main tributary of the river Ouse, with a catchment area of approximately 104km2.  It comprises nine waterbodies, seven of which have been classified under the Water Framework Directive as failing good ecological status.  This is a summary of an extensive suite of 32 walkovers, along the tributaries to the main river Uck, to survey c.500m stretches using River Habitats Survey methodology.  The objectives and findings of this work are the subject of the Trees on the River Uck (TrUck) project and complement the suite of surveys undertaken on the main river.

The walkovers were carried out by a number of experts and volunteers, between December 2012 and May 2013.  A stretch-by-stretch breakdown of the summaryinformation displayed here wil be uploaded in due course.



The dominant land use here is arable. No livestock were recorded.

Bankside trees were semi-continuous on the left bank and semi-continuous on the right bank. There were some fallen trees present and some large woody debris observed. Alders were extensive.

The channel was more than 33% shaded and there were more than 33% overhanging boughs.

There were more than 33% exposed bankside roots and more than 33% underwater tree roots.

Flow was variable.

Channel characteristics

Left bank Right bank
Banktop height0.5-6.0m0.5-2.5m
Embanked heightnonenone
Marginal/bank featureslargely nonelargely none
Land use (5m)improved grassland and mixed woodlandWoodland, grassland
Banktop vegetation (1m)
Bankface vegetation

The channel itself was 1m-7m wide at the bankfall and 0.6m-3.8 wide at water level, with a depth of 0.05-0.4m and mostly gravel/pebble substrate.


Amphibious plants were observed in the channel. Notable invasive plants were present, specifically Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed. The channel is not significantly choked with vegetation.

Channel modifications

The channel is not obviously realigned and is not obviously over-deepened. Water is not impounded by obstructions.

Additional features

There are 289 riffles, 135 sidebars, 5 deflectors, 76 pools and 85 pointbars.

Other information

The data shown here is the average/ dominant finding, unless a range is stated.

Upstream grid reference: TQ5540027655

Downstream grid reference: TQ4425517797

Date of walkover: May 2013

Name of surveyor(s): Experts and trained volunteers

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