Thames Water River Project Update June 2020
A lot of work has been going on in the background designing the restoration of the river and getting all the permissions required to do the work. It is very exciting that we can now break ground at two sites.
At Wye Dene we are extending the restoration we started at the old Water Cress beds downstream see Revitilising the watercress beds. Specialist contractors were employed at Wye Dene by us to start the process of felling to provide us with materials to build the woody structures in the design. This also reduced the risk to a Thames Water sewage pipe that runs alongside the trees. Rangers Paul and Leila visited early in June and cleared the channel that was getting blocked by vegetation at the watercress beds and made a start on the new section.
Our Wye Wednesday Afternoon sub-project started with the first group of pupils being introduced to River Fly Monitoring at the Wye Dene Site and our River Volunteers and Beaconsfield High Sixth Form Students have been able to meet weekly due to additional funding from Wycombe District Council at their Kingsmead Rec Site.
Many users of Kingsmead Park have commented on the improvements to the path network, visibility of the river, light levels, planting and interpretation as we work.
See photos of West Wycombe Park below.
We are pleased to report that in the first quarter of the year, before lock down, we have delivered 11 community engagement events at 4 different sites covering over 2km of river engaging 251 volunteers and support from 17 community groups.
We encourage our volunteers to learn new skills where possible and during this project they have learned coppicing, carpentry, hedge planting techniques etc. Key volunteers have been introduced to chipper operation and we are identifying training opportunities for them to get formal tickets to build Chiltern Rangers capacity and demonstrate their value as volunteers.