Stream Restoration Project

At the beginning of the 2008-2009 Winter Work Party Season in October an activity to clear encroaching scrub from the banks of the stream was scheduled.

This activity allows sunlight through the woodland canopy, establishing grasses, herbs and flowering plants and decreasing the decaying matter that falls into the stream, mostly in the way of leaves and branches from the trees above.

stream2 The first work party was attended by around 30 volunteers and as a result the work was carried out very quickly and the group were keen to move onto the next job of clearing other areas of scrub so that the heathland can regenerate. A few of us including myself and 3 other keen volunteers/co-erced family members (my wife, sister and brother in law) hung back to continue work on the stream.

We began by removing silt from the existing silt traps but then realised that the stream was not wide or deep enough to hold the amount of water that passed down it during the winter. We began to dig it out along its entire length to allow this. As well as increasing the size of the stream, we also began to install small dams and at its completion we had installed 8, all of which were created to hold water in small pools for the whole year so that amphibians and invertebrates would be able to survive in the stream all year round.

stream3During this process which eventually took 11 work parties and over 180 volunteer hours we made a number of discoveries from hibernating common toads, to 20cm land leeches and even a very well camouflaged woodcock.

Since it's completion we have received many positive comments and we will be working over the coming years to maintain and improve this habitat on the heath, so all I can say is I hope that you will visit the heath this year and enjoy the stream as we have enjoyed working on it.

Special Thanks for help during this project must go to Joanna Taylor, Gemma Watts, Gavin Watts, Joan Pinch and John Moore.

Adam Taylor