Essex Rivers Hub

Habitat Creation to Improve Habitats for Aquatic Flora and Fauna

Woody debris has been installed into the river in Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park in 6 locations. The wood
has been installed to create additional in-channel habitats within Nobles Green Ditch. Some bankside management was also undertaken to remove overhanging vegetation, this will reduce shading and allow more in-channel vegetation to develop.

The woody debris was secured into the bank and wooden pegs were also secured into the river bed to prevent it being washed downstream during fast flows. See the pictures opposite to see how they look within the channel.

The wood will change the flow dynamics within the channel, speeding up the flow as the water is diverted around the obstacle and depositing any silt behind the obstacle. The fast flows will increase oxygen levels in the water and help to expose any covered gravels and also clean any that are already exposed. Gravels and fast flowing water are great fish spawning sites and also ideal habitat for many in-channel invertebrates. The change in flow dynamics will also help small pools to develop; this again is great habitat for some aquatic species so the biodiversity potential is increased within the channel.

This diagram opposite demonstrated what affect woody debris has.

This project was possible thanks to funding from Essex and Suffolk Water's Branch Out fund, local volunteers who helped us with the ground works and support from various people within the Environment Agency so we would like to thank them all for their support.

Photos courtesy of Samantha Dyer.

RBD/catchment/river/tributary

River Roach Catchment

WFD water body status

Moderate

WFD overall status objective

To achieve Good Ecological status by 2027

Project type

Habitat Creation to increase biodiverity

Benefiting species and/or habitats

Creation of more diverse vegetation communities and increasing inchannel habitats. By introducing woody debris it is hope this will reduce silt build up and reduce the amount of silt that flows downstream, thereby improving the water quality of Nobles Green Ditch and possibly the Roach where they merge.

Total area covered by project

Cherry Orchard Country Park

Total area surveyed

Cherry Orchard Country Park

Project lead

Essex Wildlife Trust

Contact for more information

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Project partners

Essex Wildlife Trust, Essex Biodiversity Project.

Funding source

Essex and Suffolk Water, Branch Out Fund

Project start

September 2015

Project end

March 2016

Website key stakeholders:

Environment Agency logo      Essex Wildlife Trust logo            Essex Biodiversity Project logo

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting based on an original concept by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust