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This long-overdue tool will better enable the assessment of the existing character of braided rivers (and sections of braided rivers) and the degree to which they can be regarded as ‘natural’. Written by Duncan Gray, it’s an easy to follow ECan Technical Report that includes clear criteria and working examples (see one of the images below).
Given recent field research, we now have a much better idea of the best management strategies to help braided river birds breed successfully (see ECan’s ‘A quick guide to creating bird nesting islands’, This report provides an objective (rather than the existing subjective) method of identifying optimal locations where management strategies could be implemented, and just as importantly, areas that are best avoided because they are likely to fail or not be cost effective.
For anyone who teaches river studies, this should replace elements in the existing physical assessment toolkit for rivers, which have never been suitable for braided rivers.