Colwick (Holme Sluices) Fish Pass Information Page

Closes 31 Dec 2023

Opened 20 Sep 2021

Overview

 

Background

Holme Sluices spans the full width of the River Trent to the south of Nottingham and was built in the 1950s as part of a large scale flood defence scheme.  It is a major Environment Agency operational structure that helps to protect Nottingham from flooding and controls river levels upstream. It is the largest barrier to the natural migration of fish in the Midlands.  Alongside over 30 local partner organisations we have been developing an ambitious project to restore the River Trent and reconnect communities and wildlife within it – the third longest river in the country.  As part of the Lower Trent & Erewash Catchment Partnership, the Trent Gateway project aims to create a healthy watercourse that not only reduces flood risk and provides better wildlife habitats but also engages local communities about the natural and social history of the river.  The Holme Sluices fish pass is the first major project that will help towards the delivery of the Trent Gateway vision.
 

Source: Environment Agency/Royal Haskoning

 

Who are we working with?

We have worked with a number of partners on the design.  In 2013 we assessed all of the options to enable fish to pass around the sluices and the preferred option has been developed with our designers and contractors over the last 5 years.  We are also liaising with Nottingham City Council as they develop plans to create an educational and interpretation hub at Colwick Country Park that will become a centre for visitors to learn about the River Trent and its amazing history.  Trent Rivers Trust are hosts of the Lower Trent & Erewash Catchment Partnership and are leading on the development of projects to further enhance the river and deliver the ambition of Trent Gateway.  The Environment Agency will be leading the fish pass project.


Why are we doing it?

In total there are eight large weirs along the lower River Trent from Cromwell near Newark to Sawley near Long Eaton without a fish pass.  These barriers affect the natural migration of fish as they try to reach spawning habitat upstream into the Midlands.  Holme Sluices is the largest barrier and is owned and maintained by the Environment Agency.  We are addressing our barrier first and through Trent Gateway we are seeking a partnership approach to further open up access to spawning grounds in the rivers Derwent, Soar and Dove.  Species that will benefit include Salmon, Lamprey, Eels and other coarse fish.


What are we doing?

We will be building a ‘twin deep vertical slot’ fish pass that will be 200m long, 6m wide and 6m deep.  It will run around the Environment Agency compound at Colwick and is broken up into a series of 21 ascending chambers into which the water flows through narrow slots. All fish species will be able to swim through these slots and rest in the next chamber above before continuing their journey up the pass and into the river above.  It will also include an eel pass to help support the critically endangered European Eel as well as a public viewing platform so people can try and spot fish as they make their way through the pass.

Holme Sluices at Colwick is the largest barrier on the Trent and we have now completed the final design and have secured the funding to build it.  We anticipate that construction will start in February 2022.  We will continue to work alongside partners as they seek to make additional improvements to the Colwick Country Park and other surrounding areas to make this part of Nottingham a key visitor destination where communities can learn about the natural environment and the River Trent.
 

Similar fish pass examples from the River Severn - Diglis weir

Source: Environment Agency

Where can I find out more about the project?

We will be providing regular updates via this page and our Midlands Twitter account - @EnvAgencyMids

You can also contact us via EMDenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Please contact us if you have any questions

You can find further information, or answers to any specific queries, by contacting EMDenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Audiences

  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs

Interests

  • Habitats and wildlife