Restoration of the River Darent through Central Park by weir removal, channel narrowing to recreate chalk stream habitats.
The River Darent is a chalk stream river, a rare and heavily impacted freshwater habitat on a global scale. Chalk streams, a
UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitat, provide important habitats for native fish (e.g. Brown Trout [UK BAP
species]) and invertebrates. These species require clean well-oxygenated fast flowing water and good quality natural
Through Central Park in Dartford, the river is currently impounded by a weir at the downstream extent, degrading the river
habitat by making it ponded and slow flowing. As a consequence the river channel has accumulated silt and become
overgrown with reed, further degrading it as a chalk stream.
Our project aims to rehabilitate a 700m reach of the River Darent, reverting it to a natural chalk stream for the benefit of
wildlife (water vole, otter, brown trout and European eel) and local people by removing the weir and establishing a natural
free flowing river habitat within the current river channel footprint.