Shedding light on hidden rivers.
Posted on March 12, 2015
A news snippet from Mike Blackmore, WTT’s Conservation Officer in the southwest.
Much of my winter has been spent planning and undertaking works to improve ‘light and sight’. A project on the River Crane in Dorset has been started that involves letting some light onto the bed and banks in order to boost marginal and in-stream plant growth. This will help to boost invertebrate populations in the reach which will in turn support the offspring of the sea trout that are known to spawn here. Following on from these works we will be easing fish passage over a weir upstream and introducing some additional in-stream habitat to help improve fry and parr survival rates.
This project is in partnership with the Environment Agency and Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Another project on the Wellow Brook in Somerset has involved tree works to open up a largely forgotten and neglected section of the brook and make it more visible and accessible to the local community. Woody material arising from the tree works was used to create marginal brushwood berms to increase sinuosity and bed scour, hopefully helping to improve the reach’s resilience to low flows. These berms, positioned in the newly opened up sections, should also receive ample sunlight to be successfully colonised by marginal plants. It is hoped that by engaging with the local community, urban-related river habitat issues can be more easily addressed and improved. This will ultimately benefit the wild trout population that I know and love downstream in the more rural parts of the river.
This project is in partnership with the Environment Agency and Bristol Avon Rivers Trust.