The Big Feller!

Mike Blackmore of the Wild Trout Trust recently ran a practical demonstration day on the River Test in Hampshire, together with Rupert Kelton of the Wessex Chalkstreams & Rivers Trust, the Test & Itchen Association and hosted by riparian owner, Richard Maitland.

The day, attended by seventeen people including many full-time Test keepers, demonstrated a range of simple, natural habitat improvement techniques. The mighty band of volunteers ate through the work, putting eleven large habitat features into a 200m river reach, including hinged-in trees, brushwood berms and a number of big log deflectors, created from huge sycamores and alders. Mike withstood the pressure of an audience of professional river-keepers as he dropped both trees right onto the necessary (and pretty tight) spots!

River Habitat Workshop River Test Sept 2016

Small willows hinged into the margins of the Test make great habitat for trout and many other species.

Test River Habitat workshop

Big trees work well too!

River habitat workshop River Test

Mike Blackmore fells a huge sycamore, subsequently chopped up to make log deflectors to provide habitat variety in a fairly uniform river reach.