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Strategic Design and Delivery of Integrated Catchment Restoration Monitoring: Emerging Lessons from a 12-Year Study in the UK

Spray, Chris; Black, Andrew; Bradley, David; Bromley, Chris; Caithness, Fiona; Dodd, Jennifer; Hunt, James; MacDonald, Alan; Martinez Romero, Roberto; McDermott, Tommy; Moir, Hamish; Quinn, Lorraine; Reid, Helen; Robertson, Hamish


Chris Spray

Andrew Black

David Bradley

Chris Bromley

Fiona Caithness

James Hunt

Alan MacDonald

Roberto Martinez Romero

Tommy McDermott

Hamish Moir

Lorraine Quinn

Helen Reid

Hamish Robertson


Despite growing interest in river and catchment restoration, including a focus on nature-based solutions, assessing effectiveness of restoration programmes continues to prove a challenge. The development of the Eddleston Water project, the Scottish Government’s empirical study of the impact of implementing natural flood management measures on flood risk and habitat restoration, provides the opportunity to review restoration monitoring at a strategic and operational level for this long-running catchment restoration programme. The project has implemented an extensive range of restoration measures along the river and across the 69 km2 catchment. This paper reviews the monitoring strategy and assesses both how the monitoring network developed meets its strategic aims and what subsequent changes were made in monitoring design and implementation. Covering hydrology, hydromorphology and ecology, we explore how all three are integrated to provide a comprehensive assessment of restoration success. Lessons to help inform other river rehabilitation monitoring programmes include the importance of a scoping study and capturing the full range of environmental variables pre-restoration; the limitations of BACI designs; and the need to focus integrated monitoring on a process-based framework and impact cascade, whilst also covering the full trajectory of recovery.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Aug 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 10, 2022
Journal Water
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 15
Article Number 2305
Keywords river restoration; monitoring; aquatic ecology; natural flood management
Public URL


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