Resilient River

An initiative of the Nenescape Landscape Partnership the Resilient River project is funded by the Environment Agency & National Lottery Heritage Fund. The primary aim of the project is to enhance, restore and protect the backchannels and backwaters of the Nene Valley through efficient partnership working and best practice. 

 The River Nene has been highly modified for both flood defense and navigation purposes, historically for industry and in recent times for leisure. This has however, had an impact on the potential for the river to act as an aquatic habitat. The main river, where navigable is much less favourable habitat than the backchannels (historically the main river before modification) for fish, invertebrates & other flora and fauna.

The Resilient River project is in place to connect habitats along the Nene Valley by restoring neglected/altered features, to improve biodiversity; protect, enhance and interpret heritage features; and improve resilience of water quality and supply in the face of population growth, urbanisation and climate change.

  • Elton Backchannel
  • Barnwell Inner Backchannel
  • Whitemills Backchannel
  • Ailsworth Backchannel
  • Stanwick North Backwater
  • Nassington Backchannel
  • Lilford Backchannel
  • Electric Cut
  • Service Three

Aims & Objectives:

  • Away from the main navigation channel, the waterways provide a rich variety of habitats.
  • Backwaters provide vital spawning and refuges for fish.
  • Improved water quality and riparian habitats support a greater range of wildlife along the valley.
  • The natural capital and the ecosystem services that the waterways provide are better understood and valued by communities.
  • Access (intellectual and physical) is improved.


  • 2.7km of river restored
  • 43 of 55 backchannels & backwater of the River Nene assessed for restoration potential.
  • 260 tonnes of clean gravel have been introduced into the river to improve the gravel bed topography and the quality of fish spawning habitat. Future projects will see this figure increase.
  • 52 native trees have been planted as a long term technique to increase shading and cooling of the river channel to reduce the growth rate of emergent weed beds.
  • 45 trees hinged and pinned to provide fish refuge and habitat for bird life.

August 09 2021

Resilient River: Floating Ecosystems Installed along the Whitworths Mill bank

A unique solution to an all too common issue, floating ecosystems have been installed along the Whitworths Mill bank of the River Nene at Wellingborough Embankment. 


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