Exciting works were undertaken along the River Witham at Wyndham Park, Grantham in early July, 2022. This was the first of four in-channel sites worked on by local contractors Lions on the River Witham in Grantham and River Slea in Sleaford.
Two berms were installed at two locations in Wyndham Park to create in-channel habitat and sinuosity within the river. These berms consist of brushwood faggots (or fascines), chestnut posts and coir matting to introduce some more natural features into the channel.
As this section of Wyndham Park is confined by hard concrete banks, the river wasn't able to erode and deposit material to create meanders across the floodplain as it would in a natural environment. As an alternative for this urban setting, these in-channel berms can be installed to create some natural variation within the channel without moving onto the floodplain.
A straightened, over-widened river section such as in Wyndham Park lacks this much needed variation and so wasn't able to support essential in-channel species. By narrowing the river and creating variation within the channel these structures now provide habitat for different in-channel species which prefer faster and slower moving sections. These species at the bottom of the food chain are essential to supporting our larger animals throughout the blue green corridor.
The pre-planted coir matting that has been secured into the structure acts as instant habitat, flourishing to create an aesthetic habitat. A similar structure was successfully installed in 2017 by the Environment Agency and Lincs Rivers Trust in Wyndham Park downstream of this site. For more information on this project visit Wyndham Park Grantham's website.
Local contractors Lions and volunteers have created two berms along this section of the River Witham in Wyndham Park. Below you can see the creation of the berms!
The final product!
Planted up with pre-planted coir matting, colourful plants such as yellow iris and purple loosestrife have now begun to establish.
Below shows the berm already starting to establish!
Below shows the creation of the second berm!
The location of these two berms within this stretch of Wyndham Park were chosen because that is where the river naturally wanted to deposit material to create a meander within the confines of the channel. This was more evident for the first berm which already had a large silt deposit in that area. By creating the berm in these places we are working with the natural processes of the river and encouraging that natural succession.
The final product!
Exactly the same as the other berm along this stretch, the berm has been planted up with pre-planted coir matting so colourful plants such as yellow iris and purple loosestrife will establish over the coming months. The Image on the right shows the berm starting to establish.