This smiling group are the latest additions to our growing band of volunteers. They all hail from Naples and have backgrounds in Natural Sciences so will be a great addition to the team once they familiarize themselves with our fish and fowl. The group are making a start in this process by joining the By Brook project team and attending an invertebrate training day – to be followed up by collecting valuable data on the Brook itself.
Now we have agreement to proceed it is all hands to the pump to make the most of the Summer and progress the project as fast as possible.
We have started the fish pass feasibility studies by contracting Mike and Matt Beech who you can see in the following photos taking levels and measurements on one of the structures we hope can have passes added in the future. These will allow eels and other fish to freely pass upstream and downstream should they wish to at different times of year. The initial work involves not just taking the measurements but a whole host of complicated calculations to work out just the right gradients and flows to allow fish passage and of course ensure the passes when eventually constructed can function at most rates of flow likely to be experienced in our topsy turvy climate.
We are also close to completing the arrangements for surveys to record native crayfish populations , invertebrates, and the species of plants and fish present as these will be essential to add to existing records and as a baseline to measure the effectiveness of any work we undertake. The work to assess the native crayfish populations is being carried out by the South West Crayfish Project and will be critical to our planning and in deciding what works can ultimately be carried out .
Many miles have been covered and photographs taken along the Brook and we are quite close now to being able to decide what areas we can tackle to improve habitat and protect the river. These decisions will be made with landowners and local fishing associations to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved and protected into the future. We are also collecting very useful information to inform any future work which might be needed as this project is only a start towards what is required to restore this pretty brook.