Bryanston

A weir on the Dorset Stour near Blandford is a complete barrier to fish passage with a 1.75 metre head drop. The structure is owned by Bryanston School and used to maintain a length of deep, stilled water for rowing; making a removal project unlikely in the short-medium term. An old leat, connects to the main river upstream and downstream of the weir but fish passage through the channel was impeded both by the ruins of an old pumping station and a set of derelict, permanently closed sluices.

In early 2019, a project was proposed by the Wild Trout Trust (WTT), acting on the advice of the Environment Agency (EA), to undertake fish passage and habitat improvements in the leat. This would allow coarse fish and some salmonids to pass freely beyond Bryanston Weir for the first time in decades, possibly even since the creation of the pumping station. Wessex Rivers Trust, working in partnership with WTT and the EA, finalised the designs and prepared the project for delivery in autumn 2019.

In 2020 the leat is now passable to a broad range of fish species. Coarse fish and brown trout are likely to use the channel as a source of habitat and a bypass beyond Bryanston Weir.