Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Our Mission:

To renovate and restore the flood defence and fire prevention weir in Braunston village, Rutland.


Braunston is a delightful village community, in the heart of Rutland. We have around 200 families living in the village, with many historic houses, two pubs and a working church.

The river Gwash runs through the South end of the village. During World War 2, the 19th century weir across the Gwash was improved to make a fire pond, providing emergency supplies of water for use by firefighters in the event of fire in the village. We have several thatched cottages in the village and would like to maintain this supply, as there are regular calls in our area to respond to thatch fires. Our water supply to the village is inadequate in both pressure and volume to tackle a significant fire. This year, we lost a thatched house in the village, when the Fire Service was unable to extinguish the thatch fire due to lack of available water. The weir also acts as an important amenity for the village, acting as a site for: picnics, our annual duck racing event, and crayfish fishing.

Over the years, the weir wall has been extended to prevent water run-around the end of the original weir. This extension has been under-washed and water is now leaking underneath the extension wall. The fire pond has also collected quite an amount of silt, which constrains its capacity.

We have contacted various local and national bodies, all of whom deny any responsibility for maintaining our weir, and so we have decided to tackle it as a community project.


We have consulted with a local excavation/construction company, and drawn up a plan to tackle the job. We would plan to do the work after the spring (2018), when river flow is quite low.

The renovation work will aim to:

1. Stabilise the foundation of the weir extension wall
a. Pull the weir plate and drain the fire pond
b. Form excavator access to neighbour’s adjacent field/garden
c. Make up the washed-out area downstream of the weir with compacted stone to provide a solid foundation, and splash apron
d. Pour concrete onto the stone base and vibrate to move it under the washed-out extension

2. Contain the fire pond to prevent ‘run-around’
a. Dig a slot trench abutting the weir extension
b. Fill the trench with concrete to form a waterproof curtain wall
c. Repair the access track to neighbour’s field/garden
3. Remove silt
a. Dredge silt into a high walled trailer
b. Ferry silt and spread onto neighbouring field
4. Tidy up
a. Volunteer squad to cut back extensive overgrown vegetation
b. Remove rubbish from vicinity and return to use as a local amenity for picnics, duck racing, and crayfish fishing

The estimated cost is around £3,000, with a contingency of a further £1,000 depending upon how easy/difficult it proves to access the far side of the weir with mechanical equipment. Therefore, we are requesting £4,000 through the Aviva Community Fund.

Thank you for taking the time to read our funding bid.

The Welland Rivers Trust

Moment of Pride

This project represents a collaborative partnership between a community and a conservation charity. Together Braunston community and the Welland Rivers Trust aim to restore the Gwash weir, improving the area as a local community amenity, for flood defence and for fire prevention.

Location: Braunston