03 Mar Smoutel Ford
The historic river crossing at Smoutel Ford was dredged out in the 1950s and the river bed has not recovered sufficiently to allow the present bridleway to be safely used. Slow recovery is evident in the bed morphology elsewhere and a number of embryonic riffle/rapids have appeared. This reach, however, remains largely devoid of sediment and would benefit significantly from sediment reintroduction and coarse riffle/rapid features.
This project aims to reinstate a ford crossing over the River Rede to facilitate access along a public bridleway across the Rede Valley in order to promote public access in the area. The historical crossing point (which dates back to Roman times) has not been usable since the 1950s. A scheme is being developed which will seek to reinstate a series of natural riffle and rapid features upstream which will allow a new ford to be constructed. This project is being developed alongside other planned improvements to the river Rede around Monkridge and linking footpaths and bridleways.