South East Rivers Trust

Fish Passage on the Cuckmere


We have been working in partnership with the Cuckmere and Pevensey Levels Partnership to deliver a fish passage project at Sessingham Weir on the Cuckmere.

The weir currently causes an impassable barrier to fish, preventing them from accessing all the habitat required for a healthy lifecycle. This in turn can make fish less resilient to other pressures such as pollution and climate change.

Many fish species thought of as being non-migratory will in fact, given the opportunity, make substantial movements within a river system, particularly to find good spawning habitat. In unobstructed rivers, species such as roach may move 10’s of kilometers. By making the weir passable to fish, we will reconnect approximately 6.2 km of valuable habitat upstream and downstream.

Unfortunately due to the presence of a water pipe running underneath the weir it cannot be fully removed. In September we permanently lowered the weir blade and have already seen some fantastic habitat improvements such as increased flow diversity.

Before and After at Sessingham Weir

We are now planning to remove the redundant weir gate and are designing a solution to make the weir passable to fish.

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