Dove

Judging by scenery, the Dove Catchment is the crown jewel of the Trent catchment.

The river forges its way through the Peak District’s UNESCO-World heritage sites. Rising in heather-clad uplands, the Dove weaves through broadleaf woodlands, flower-rich grasslands and arable lands. The Dove is enjoyed by  anglers, ramblers and wildlife alike and it has been for quite some time. In 1676 Charles Cotton praised the Dove as ‘the finest River that I ever saw, and the fullest of fish’. While  Izaac Walton’s ‘The Complete Angler’ enthuses about ‘the swiftness of its current’, ‘one of the purest Chrystalline streams you have seen’.

Confluencing into the Dove, the River Churnet, Tean, Manifold, Hamps form this predominantly rural catchment area. Within this catchment, the industrial revolution and historic milling continues to echo, as barriers change flow regimes and restrict species migration. Both stories of successful reintroductions and persistent barriers  continue to shape resilience, biodiversity and water quality. While weirs and other obstacles are part of the region’s rich cultural heritage, restoration works are starting to restore the ‘swiftness of its current’ and give aquatic wildlife the conditions it needs to recover and thrive. 

Following a programmme of salmon re-introduction, facilitated by the removal of a series of weirs, the Dove is slowly returning to become a river that can once again become a haven for threatened species. Learning from the experience, long-term commitment, shared collaboration are key to success in the Dove and beyond.

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