Erosion works to save Curley Hole fishery
Significant riverbank protection measures have been approved for the Curley Hole at Townley Hall in a bid to preserve the fishery habitat in the area.
They will also be vital to secure the main Drogheda to Slane road that has also come under threat due to erosion.
Rock armour is to be placed on the riverbank to halt the ongoing issues, with Meath and Louth CC both involved in the planning process and Inland Fisheries Ireland making the application. Meath CC approved their side of the river for works last week.
The development will involve the construction of scour protection along the northern and southern banks of the Boyne at the Curley Hole and will involve an underwater archaeological survey, just a short distance from where King William crossed the river at the Battle of the Boyne.
An archaeological report with the application states that the erection of the rock armour could lead to ‘ground disturbance’ and that metal detectors should also be used along the river bank as part of the survey.
‘The propose works will combine soft methods of bank protection and heavy rock armour that will be quarried locally,’ the report states, adding that there will be ‘no adverse impacts on the Bru na Boinne site.’
The river bank at the Curley Hoole have undergone ‘substantial erosion’ which has resulted in changes to the flow regime and deposits within the channel at that location. Land on both sides has eroded into the river course.
‘The erosion of the north riverbank is of particular concern as it compromises the integrity of the N51 Drogheda to Slane road,. which passes within metres of the river channel,’ the application states. The erosion is having a negative impact in the salmon and sea trout in the area.
The proposal is for 500mm high x 1000mm x 1000mm angular block like shaped rock /boulders to the lower two thirds of the eroded bank height.
The work would take 12 weeks and be confined to July – September.
There are also issues with an invasive species at the location, Himalayan Balsam, while Meath CC were keen to learn more about erosion of river banks downstream due to the works.
The IWAI Boyne Navigation sent in a submission on the issue, expressing concerns that the present tow path would be the main route for the carriage of rocks by tractor and trailer to the works site. They say the path is only 1.5m in width and is a pedestrian route add they fear it will be damaged by large tractors as well as the culverts under the path that take away water under flood conditions.
It was stated that a layer of rock will be placed on the path in a bid to protect it and that it will be returned to its present state afterwards.