We are pleased to be working with Midsomer Norton Town Council to improve the Wellow Brook, thanks to funding from Postcode Local Trust. The following article is from the Midsomer Norton Town Council Magazine and describes the work we will be getting up to in summer 2017!

 

Previous light coppicing work on the Wellow Brook

Previous light coppicing work on the Wellow Brook

 

Exciting new project at the Wellow Brook Walk

In the Winter 2016 edition of LIFE Magazine, we reported on plans to work with the Conservation Volunteers, a community volunteering charity and invited you to let us know if you were interested.  The response from the community was a little disappointing and then found out that the Green Gym initiative would not be able to support a scheme at the site.

We were not to be deterred however and we have now teamed up with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) to launch a more local initiative at the site to implement our plans to create a community conservation space.

BART is a community led organisation which aims to deliver education, land and river management advice and practical river restoration work in the Bristol Avon catchment.  Through promoting an ecosystem-based approach, they aim to re-connect communities to their rivers and help river users and lovers better appreciate and improve their local rivers and streams.

We have already been discussing the possibilities for the site which include:

  • Continuing the construction of flow deflecting structures throughout the site to improve flow conditions for fish, including brown trout.  This would involve light coppicing at a 60:40 ratio of shade to light and the limbs and brash removed would be used to build the structures. As standard, these structures will be approved by the Environment Agency’s Flood Defence team.

  • Planting areas of wildflowers, probably in in late August on the sloped banks of the area.

  • Running river dipping & water quality sessions with local schools and possibly running a hibernaculum building session using the leftover wood and some pallets.

This would all contribute to the work that the Town Council has in hand to improve the footpaths, reduce the scrub which has encroached across a considerable area and rid the land of invasive and unwelcome species of plants.

To bring this together, the Town Council and BART have agreed to hold an evening forum in the Town Hall on Thursday 30th March at 7pm.  You are invited to come along discuss the project, river wildlife in general and express your views on the river and the Wellow Brook Walk as a whole.  Please also tell us about any improvements that you would like to see and anything else that you may want to bring up.

BART and the Town Council would like to create a ‘Friends of the Wellow’ group and this is an important first step to achieve that.  Come along and find out more on Thursday 30th March!

Volunteers building flow deflectors in the river channel

Volunteers building flow deflectors in the river channel