New hydro power scheme & fish pass for Quarry Bank

A view of Quarry Bank Mill from the garden bridge © Laura Collins

A view of Quarry Bank Mill from the garden bridge

Latest update 16.07.2013 15:09

A partnership project between the National Trust and the Environment Agency will provide a new source of electrical power for Quarry Bank in Cheshire, whilst at the same time improving the ecosystem of the River Bollin which flows through the Quarry Bank and Styal estate.

For the past four months, work has been underway to install a hydro-electric power scheme and fish pass downstream from Quarry Bank’s historic weir on the Bollin, as Sara Burdett, project manager for the Trust explains: 'Water has always been used to power the spinning and weaving machines at Quarry Bank since the Mill was founded by Samuel Greg in 1784', says Sara. 'The weir was built to harness waterpower, driving the huge water wheel which powered the looms.

'This partnership project with the Environment Agency will take the generation of water-powered energy to a new level at Quarry Bank through the use of a Kaplan turbine installed 30 metres downstream from the weir. This propeller-type turbine with adjustable blades will generate enough electricity to meet 55% of Quarry Bank’s on-site energy requirements, and will help fulfil the National Trust’s own energy strategy – to produce 50% of its energy requirements through generating its own power by 2020.'

Alongside the turbine, the Environment Agency is building a fish pass to allow the migratory route of fish such as salmon to be accessible once again. 'This is a very exciting project which will enable fish such as salmon, trout and coarse fish to reach the upper catchment area of the Bollin using the fish pass or ladder', says Katherine Causer, project manager for the Environment Agency.

Tell us what you think of the hydropower scheme and fish pass by tweeting us @quarrybankmill or the Environment Agency @EnvAgencynw.

More information about Quarry Bank and the Environment Agency