Llandinam Gravels River Restoration Project

Closes 31 Dec 2025

Opened 23 May 2024


Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is working on a project to restore important habitat along a stretch of the River Severn in the village of Llandinam.

The area, known as Llandinam Gravels, is a nature reserve. The shallow gravels provide great habitat for invertebrates to thrive, for wading birds to feed and for migratory fish such as salmon to spawn.  

But historic human intervention, such as straightening the river channel and gravel removal, has altered the river’s natural processes. This is deteriorating the habitat present through the nature reserve and increasing erosion nearer the village.

Our project to restore natural river processes and increase these habitats will be one of the largest lowland river restoration projects in Wales.

Drone image of River Severn at Llandinam

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The importance of the River Severn

The River Severn is the longest river in the UK at approximately 220 miles long. It rises in the Cambrian Mountains and flows through Powys before crossing the border into Shropshire and travelling down to form the Severn Estuary.

In Wales, the River Severn is one of our nine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) rivers which are awarded extra protection for the rare habitat and species they support.

The estuary is designated for its mudflats, sandbanks and salt meadows which provide essential habitat for wading birds.

The river gravels provide places for invertebrates to thrive and for wading birds to feed and breed. Over 500 species of invertebrates live in exposed river gravels and form the basis of our food chain.

The river is designated for migratory fish species such as Atlantic salmon, sea lamprey and twaite shad whose populations are increasingly threatened.

Exposed gravel beds river Severn


What we plan to do

The project is part of our ambitious river restoration programme in Wales, which aims to restore natural river processes and reintroduce habitat which has been lost due to historic human activity.

We aim to restore a section of the River Severn, approximately 900m long, back to a more natural state.

The project team is made up of multiple disciplines and after reviewing many design options with partners and specialists the preferred option is designed to enable the river to undertake its own natural recovery to a wider multiple channel form. This method encourages the river to use its own natural processes, requiring less engineering.

The scheme will be located to the south of Llandinam village and covers an area of approximately 25 hectares. The northernmost boundary of the site extends to Llandinam car park, the A470 forms the eastern boundary and the southern and western boundaries are within the Llandinam Gravels Nature Reserve.

Our plans include:

  • Creating additional river channels to slow the river flow and reduce erosion. This is known as a ‘braided channel’ configuration (see image below).
  • Installation of large wood into the channels to reduce erosion and create gravel and sediment traps, whilst providing additional habitat

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As well as providing a host of benefits for nature, the scheme is expected to provide additional benefits to the community, including providing an overall reduction in the speed and erosive power of the river during high flows.


Latest updates

During 2023, working with our consultants Binnies and CBEC (restoration specialists for the water environment) we have undertaken a number of surveys and investigations to inform the design of the scheme. Some of these include:

  • Hydraulic modelling to estimate flow, water level and velocity in river channels.
  • Geotechnical desk study to review relevant information regarding the historical, geological and environmental data of a site
  • Topographic survey (also referred to as a land or terrain survey), a type of survey that maps the levels, boundaries and features of a site.
  • Ecological surveys to assess the presence of invasive or protected species.
  • Archaeology report to locate, identify, and record the distribution, structure, and form of archaeological sites in relation to the project area.

Staff member surveying the River Severn

An initial concept design for the scheme has been developed, and we are now working to finalise our proposals into a detailed design.

We aim to present our plans to the community and receive feedback in the coming months. We will obtain relevant consents and permissions in order to start construction of the scheme during summer 2025, subject to funding.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will you be consulting on plans for the scheme?

We will be holding drop-in sessions in the community to keep you informed and providing a newsletter to keep people updated. We will also be working closely with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust who owns and manages the Llandinam Gravels Reserve.

What is the cost of the scheme?

The project is expected to cost approximately £1million and is being funded by the Welsh Government’s Nature and Climate Emergency (NaCE) Capital Programme.

The programme supports a number of environmental priorities including peatland restoration, metal mine remediation, fisheries, water quality and national forests.

Will the project reduce flood risk to people living in Llandinam?

Restoration of natural river processes associated with ‘Natural Flood Management (NFM)’ have been shown to have long term benefits to flood risk. The primary aim of the river restoration project is to restore valuable habitat to benefit nature.

It is not specifically designed to reduce flood risk, however, restoring natural river processes, reconnecting floodplains and slowing and spreading flood flows over a greater area upstream may have associated benefits by managing water levels downstream.

In a separate scheme, Powys County Council has installed a small earth bund to reduce flood risk to properties in Llandinam.

Will you be dredging the river as part of the project?

Dredging of natural rivers is generally very damaging to the habitats and species present, but also to the neighbouring land and properties up and downstream.

No dredging will be undertaken as part of these works, instead we will be reconnecting the river to the flood plain and restoring natural processes.

Natural Resources Wales reminds landowners not to remove gravel from streams and rivers. In-river works, such as gravel removal, dredging or alteration of a channel, is an offence unless the work is carried out under an appropriate permit or consent.

Gravel removal operations cause damage to wildlife, including aquatic invertebrates, fish spawning grounds and nesting birds. It also spreads invasive non-native species such as Japanese Knotweed to other locations resulting in infestation and damage to neighbouring property. Such operations de-stabilise the river and can rapidly and massively change the course of the channel. It can take decades to centuries for a river to recover from inappropriate works.

Removing gravel from rivers is only permitted under certain circumstances and where it is clearly evidenced to be absolutely necessary to do so.


Get in touch

To get in touch with the team, please email: Llandinamgravels@naturalresources.wales




  • Llandinam


  • Rivers
  • citizens
  • Anglers
  • Wales Biodiversity Partnership


  • WFD
  • water framework directive
  • water planning
  • river basin planning