Catch dykes are watercourses that often exist at the break of slope between the upland and the floodplain. They have been given little attention in studies of wetland hydrology. However, they can play an important role in the transmission of nutrients, interrupt the hydroseral succession on the valley side, and impact groundwater supply to the valley sides and/or floodplain fens. This contract looked in more depth at Ebb & Flow Marshes within the Bure Broads & Marshes to understand the site hydrology, the role of the catch dyke and to develop designs for the restoration of the catch dyke and valley side hydrology.
The work has confirmed that catch dykes may have significant implications for the management of wetland sites of national and international importance. The intention is to use this work to implement restoration of valley side hydrology on sites impacted by catch dykes.