4. Stream bed improvement at Singler's Marsh
Theme: Water Quality, Habitats and Wildlife
- That water quality, temperature and river bed quality are such that they support chalk stream ecology
This project aims to remove some of the accumulated silt from the river bed and replace it with imported gravel to encourage wildlife. It will also reduce the overshading of the river to encourage river vegetation
Due to low and slow flows in the past, silt has accumulated on the bed of the river, covering over the gravel. This prevents invertebrates and fish from accessing the gravel, and also detracts from the attractiveness of the river.
Four sections of the river were selected, silt removed and replaced with gravel. In addition two large willows were pollarded and roadside shrubs cyt back to increase the light to the river.
Since then, the amount of river vegetation has increased and some of the gravel patches have survived. A subsequent fish survey by the Environment Agency showed wildlife was present.
We need to wait longer to determine whether the gravel replacement has been a succssful approach.