Fish Pass

Thetford Modular Fish & Elver Pass

The Brief

The Thetford Sluice in Suffolk, lacking a fish pass facility, required reconditioning to incorporate fish and eel passage in alignment with EU and Environment Agency (EA) regulations. ACE was engaged by Birse Civils, awarded the reconditioning works, to design and install a practical solution integrating a fish pass into the existing canoe portage slope.

The Solution

Modular HDPE Design: ACE introduced the UK’s first modular HDPE fish pass. Each modular section, inclusive of elver passage, was designed to be bolted down, drastically reducing installation time compared to traditional methods. The modular approach eliminated the need for setting out and mounting each baffle separately.

Cost and Time Efficiency: The simplicity of the HDPE modular system significantly reduced civil work requirements, resulting in cost savings for the EA. The choice of HDPE over stainless steel not only cut costs but also reduced theft potential, as HDPE holds little to no scrap value. This material decision, along with its lower carbon footprint, contributed to the overall environmental sustainability of the project.

The Result

Enhanced Passage Facilities: The installation of the modular fish and elver pass at Thetford Sluice ensured safe and continuous passage for fish and eels. The redesigned sluice gate structure met EU and EA requirements, enhancing aquatic life migration in the area.

Collaborative Success: ACE and Birse Civils, having previously collaborated on projects like St. Germans pumping station, continued their successful partnership. The joint effort demonstrated the effectiveness of professional collaboration in delivering innovative solutions for water infrastructure projects.



UK’s First Modular HDPE Fish Pass

ACE’s introduction of the UK’s first modular HDPE fish pass marked a significant innovation in fish passage solutions. The modular design not only streamlined installation but also showcased ACE’s commitment to advancing sustainable practices in water infrastructure.


Environmental Sustainability

The project’s use of HDPE, a material with a lower carbon footprint than stainless steel, highlighted ACE’s dedication to environmental sustainability. The decision contributed to both cost savings and reduced environmental impact.



ACE expressed gratitude to Kye Jerrom, Fisheries Technical Manager for the EA, for his assistance throughout the project. The acknowledgment emphasized the collaborative nature of the project and the importance of effective teamwork in achieving successful outcomes.

Let’s Work Together!

Whatever your enquiry, we have a specialist team of friendly and helpful staff to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us using your preferred method, and we will be happy to help.

Talk To Our Team