Little Bedwyn Project

Community River Restoration on the Dun

In 2019 we ran a community river restoration project on the River Dun in the village Little Bedwyn. The project was in partnership with The Little Bedwyn Playing Field Trust, who own the stretch of river and the adjoining water meadow. The site is accessible to the public and the Trust wanted to improve their river for wildlife and the village. 

Over several weekends we held volunteer tasks, the villagers rose to the challenge and together with our professionally led regular volunteers transformed this stretch.
Villagers removed a small weir, which was impeding flow. We showed them how to make hazel faggots to use for the project; which were installed to create sinuous meanders that have improved the flow and shifed thick silt which was smothering the gravel riverbed.
 Before: small weir and steep bank with no marginal plants                 After: Oct 2019. weir removed, sinuosity and plants put into stream                  
The stretch was in a lot of shade, so this was addressed with coppicing and cutting back some trees and shrubs. A better balance of light and shade is now in place. Hundreds of native marginal plants have been planted within the brushwood mattresses that have been built. These will send out strong roots and rhizomes that will hold the riverbank together and create a rich habitat for insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish.
A small 'beach' was made to allow villagers easier access their river.

 Faggot making in the woods                                                               Backfilling a mattress, before planting up