8. Melissa Field
Theme: Ecology and management
- Increase the amount and quality of in-channel, bankside and floodplain habitat
This project will increase light to an over-shaded section of the river.
This area, Melissa Field, is owned by Wheathampstead Parish Council; the river flows along the southern boundary of the Field. The Council have a management plan in place for the Field as a whole, including the river and its left/northern bank. The plan is complemented by Project 7 which focuses on the right/south bank. This project will involve pollarding some of the large bankside trees and clearing bankside undergrowth to increase light to the river and promote the growth of in-channel and bankside plants.
In summer 2015, the riparian owner of the right bank removed a number of fallen trees that were causing obstructions and consequent silting in the river. We will monitor the effect of this work for 12 months but at the time of writing (March 2016) the benefits in terms of more exposed gravel bed and more in-river vegetation (eg water crowfoot) are already apparent.