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Workshop on dam and weir removal in the urban environment – 25 & 26 September 2017

Birmingham, England, UK

The 2nd Dam Removal Europe Workshop, jointly hosted by the Dam Removal Europe team, the Environment Agency and the Severn Rivers Trust, was celebrated during the past 25th and 26th September in Birmingham, UK. Focussed on dam and weir removal in the urban environment, the event gathered more than one hundred experts and dam removal enthusiasts from all over the world, who are campaigning and actively working to remove dams from rivers and allow them to flow free again .

The first day of the workshop involved talks and interactive sessions with expert speakers from across the world, with contributions from American Rivers (USA), the World Wildlife Fund (NL),  the Environment Agency (UK), River Watch (AT), Inland Fisheries (EI), Normandie Grands Migrateurs (FR) and different Rivers Trusts from across the UK

The running theme of the workshop was how dam removal was necessary and could be achieved in an urban environment, where there are more specific reasons for the weirs and dams that have been constructed. Attendees were encouraged to think outside of the box as to how it can be achieved with minimal impact to local infrastructure and deal with opposition from those who wish to keep the dam or weir in situ.

A recurrent issue of many of the presentations was the need for community engagement and communication with local people. By entering discussions as to why people felt as they did about the dams that needed to be removed, it becomes more apparent how you can approach the need for removal.

The second day of the workshop enabled attendees to visit some sites to see where weirs had been removed, and see how the natural river has re-established itself now. As well as visiting some sites where weirs are due to be removed in the coming 12 months. One of the sites visited was the weir at Powick in Worcester, which is part of the large Unlocking the Severn Project which is opening the rivers Severn and Teme for twaite shad and all other migratory fish.  The site visits enabled attendees of the workshop to see how dam removal is working in the UK and the challenges that are faced in the work being undertaken.

You can download the presentations given at the workshop here

For questions related to the workshop: Rosa Olivo del Amo –