3. Castle Farm Management Plan
Theme: Ecology and management
- Increase the amount and quality of in-channel, bankside and floodplain habitat
A plan to help manage the river and its wetland habitats at Castle Farm, which is in private ownership, has been developed and is being implemented.
This section of the River Lea displays some wonderful natural features including meanders, gravel beds and good macrophyte populations. A series of spring fed channels, carr woodland, ponds and wetland areas adjacent to the river also provide valuable habitats for wildlife.
The owner of Castle Farm has provided stewardship of the river and improved its adjacent habitats for many years. To help support this, a management plan was developed in 2016 and refreshed in 2018.
The plan aims to improve the river's ecology and morphology and address the issue of erosion, which causes over-widening of the channel, bank instability and siltation of gravels.
It includes reinforcing banks via soft engineering methods, removal of invasive species and cutting back of some over shading trees to allow in-stream vegetation to thrive.
Some of these actions are being implemented by the owner, but larger tasks such as tree works along the river banks, require funded support to help with the ongoing management and implementation of the plan.