Hydromorphology is a new concept introduced by the Water Framework Directive (WFD). It is essentially a combination of two sciences: hydrology and geomorphology and includes elements taken from both such as discharge and dynamics of water flow, river continuity and channel substrate. The hydromorphology of a water body can be defined as the combination of features and processes that are necessary to support species and communities. Hydromorphological elements in the WFD relate to what ecologists describe as ‘habitats’ or ‘biotopes’. In ecology, ecosystems are defined as combinations of communities and habitats.
Pressures such as land use, engineering structures (weirs, dams, revetments) will influence the hydromorphology of a water body and impact on its habitats, species and communities. At present, little is known of the complex relationships between pressures, hydromorphology, habitats and species/communities and their potential interactions at various spatial and temporal scales.
We specialise in the field of hydromorphological, geomorphological, ecological assessment and decision support. As such, we provide technical and applied services for all the elements linked to hydromorphological science and practice (see figure below). This includes conducting surveys, running training courses, delivering projects, GIS and decision support (software design). Our aim is to further understanding of the relationship between hydromorphology and ecology and interaction between pressures on species and communities. Adopting this approach ensures that we will be able to focus upon potential solutions at the appropriate scale and target delivery of remediation measures accordingly, optimising the use of resources
Our main assets are the quality of the individuals involved in our network of specialists and our ability to provide expert advice, develop innovative research and products and our analytical and modelling skills. Each of the individuals involved have relevant specialisms in aspects of hydromorphology and ecology whether in geomorphology, habitat assessment, macrophytes, invertebrates, fish or river restoration.
Through previous projects we have collated data, models and expertise and initiated research projects that we wish to pursue and share with the wider community of practitioners and environmental managers. To do so, we will be runninng training events and publishing regular blogs on this site.