Diggers and Dolphins help us make improvements to Nettleham Beck in Sudbrooke
The end of July marked the begining of our Sudbrooke habitat improvement project, which started with Five Rivers Environmental Contractors, carrying out some amzing river restoration on Sudbrooke Parish Council’s stretch of Nettleham Beck alongside the playing fields.
Without human intervention rivers naturally meander and include stretches of both fast and slow-flowing water, these meanders or ‘wiggles’ increase the length of the river and create pools and riffles which, over time produce diverse habitats for a variety of wildlife.
Before the work started the channel was very straight and uniform in shape with steep banks, far from ideal for aquatic life. Using a mini digger, the banks were regraded, and the bottom of the channel was narrowed with the installation of berms (low level shelves) and natural wood deflectors to help to reintroduce the ‘wiggle.’
Once the diggers were done all that was left for us to do was plant some native aquatic vegetation along the banks and the newly created berms. Luckily, we had our regular team of trusty volunteers on hand to help, along with some of the Sudbrooke Parish Councillors and a team of corporate volunteers from Brewin Dolphin in Lincoln who were happy to spend a day outside the office getting their hands dirty.
The weather was kind to us and, incredibly, we managed to plant over 1,000 plug plants. Once the plants take hold, not only will they look beautiful, they will also provide food and habitat for a variety of creatures and the plant roots will help to stabilise the banks, reducing erosion.
The remaining excavated soil was used to create a bank along the far end of the playing field which we will endeavour to plant with trees and wildflower seed mix later in the year.
As always, we want to say a great big THANK YOU to all our wonderful volunteers for their time, enthusiasm and energy. We also want to thank Sudbrooke Parish Council for giving us permission to carry out the project, their support and cooperation, the Environment Agency Team for their advice and expertise and IGas Energy Community Fund for funding the plants.
Images curtesy of Ian Russell