The River Tutt is a small tributary of the River Ure lying south-west of Boroughbridge and is part of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s River Ure Living Landscape. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) classifies the River Tutt as being heavily modified and having only ‘Moderate Ecological Potential.’ It fails WFD standards on fish habitat and numbers and is over-straightened and over-deepened.
Leading on from initial works funded by EA, YWT has been carrying out further restoration on the river in their own nature reserve at Staveley thanks to funding by Biffa Award. Work has included re-profiling sections of the river banks to help stabilise them and installing flow deflectors in the river channel. These are made by securing logs to the riverbed and vary the velocity of the water at low flow levels to create a more diverse habitat for fish and aquatic invertebrates.
Gravels are cleaned by the faster moving water creating spawning ground for fish. Invertebrates and plants benefit from the pools and slower moving waters created by the flow deflectors. A backwater has also been created which links to the river channel providing a calm refuge area for young fish and aquatic insects.