25. Establishing native bankside vegetation
Themes: Water Quality, Habitats and Wildlife; People
- To increase the attractiveness, visibility and public access, to enable people to appreciate the river (commensurate with managing and protecting sensitive habitats and species)
- To increase the public's appreciation of the unique chalk stream environment and their participation in its conservation
This project aims to encourage local people and landowners to remove invasive species such as Himalayan balsam, and replace it with a variety of native bankside vegetation.
Work to remove invasive species such as Himalayan balsam and Giant Hogweed is ongoing along the River Beane, with work focused around Watton-at-Stone. However, many residents value plants such as Himalayan balsam for their visual attractiveness and the nectar-rich flowers which are food for bees and other insects. This project aims to provide an alternative - native bankside plants which are not only attractive but much more valuable for biodiversity.
The first stage of the project will see a demonstration area on the Lammas at Watton-at-Stone, with a section of bank planted with appropriate native riparian vegetation. Interpretation will describe the species used and suggest sources for them, as well as the rationale behind the project.
The proposed second stage of the project involves potential link-ups with local garden centres and nurseries, and a low-cost or no-cost source of starter plants established. The emphasis will be on community involvement at all stages of the project.