The Lincolnshire Limestone Becks are home to some really important wildlife and are a great asset for local people as they support a rich aquatic fauna and flora rarely found in eastern England. Historic changes to the becks and stresses from water use and pollution have meant that some of the wildlife that lives in and around them is not as abundant as it once was. In the past the becks would have taken a very different meandering path. Wet meadows surrounding the becks would have provided a great habitat for animals and plants and helped store water in times of high flow. They have unique features including the Tufa waterfall shown in the top image which only forms in calcium rich conditions.
The Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, Wild Trout Trust and the Environment Agency worked together to develop a project shaped by Lincolnshire’s geographically isolated and unique limestone becks, carrying out walkover surveys along the these very special waterways.
Lincolnshire Rivers Trust undertook a pilot project on Dunston Beck, installing berms (low shelves made with brushwood and stakes that trap silt and grow vegetation). This section of the beck is now abundant with wildlife and the beck is now moving in a more natural way.
Work started on a section of Scopwick Beck at the bottom end of the village in the summer of 2017, this is now flourishing and has been complemented by an additional 80m of berms installed by our amazing volunteers in Spring 2019!
The Wild Trout Trust completed a project in March 2019 with support from LRT volunteers, alongside the playfields on Welton Beck, this was further helped with an intervention by the Environment Agency to allow fish to move from futher downstream, creating an amazing habitat for brown trout and other wildlife.
We are particularly proud of our community project on Branston (Sandhill) Beck upstream of the village on Waterwheel Lane. A real community effort including members of the local parish council and the Environment Agency, working alongside our regular volunteers, has vastly improved this section. We also involved families too, with bird and bat box making and an afternoon planting seeds and aquatic plants to complement the work.
Our next project on the lower Branston (Sandhill) Beck will restore 1.5km river alongside the Spires and Steeples footpath. We are aim to complete early 2021 if the weather is kind to us.
The community, parish council and a local business all helped with the restoration on Nettleham Beck at Sudbrooke village playing fields. The images below show before and after at both high and low flow.
If you would like to be involved in practical conservation or monitoring of these projects please contact Gail.Talton@lincsrivers.org.uk