Design, modification and removal of river weirs (P2941)

River Weirs - Good Practice Guide was published by the Environment Agency in 2003. It focuses largely on the construction and maintenance of weirs, although it also includes their removal.

In the intervening period, the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and other European Directives have introduced new environmental requirements. Likewise, professional and public attitudes to biodiversity have changed with greater drivers for returning rivers to their natural form.

Figure 1: Rivers Restoration Manual RRC / Natural Resources Wales

Figure 2: Environment Agency

On 7 February 2014 CIRIA held a workshop which focused on a proposed replacement to the above document, with a view to providing balanced guidance that considers the construction and operational maintenance as well as the potential for modifying or removing weirs for environmental and other enhancements.


The workshop was structured as follows:
Presentations from         
Mr Richard Leigh, Canal & River Trust
Mr Sebastian Bentley, JBA Consulting
Dr Jenny Mant. Rivers Restoration Centre
Mr Richard Harding, Environment Agency
Mr Charlie Rickard, Independent Consultant
Dr Owen Jenkins, CIRIA

A post-it session, where delegates were invited to identify important points for inclusion or important questions for consideration when producing the guide.
A series of 3 syndicate discussion sessions on:
  • Weirs – design considerations
  • Maintenance and operational issues
  • Decommissioning weirs
A discussion session on the structure of the guide and next steps.

Further information
Following the workshop CIRIA will be seeking contributions from organisations interested in collaboratively funding the project. CIRIA is also inviting preliminary expressions of interest from organisations interested in tendering to write the reviewed guidance. Please contact for more information or to get involved.