On Saturday 22nd July, the Friends of the Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond, with help from the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership and the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership, installed a series of stakes and faggot bundles (hazel branches) into the section of the Westbrook by the footbridge between The Knole and Beech Close.
The aim of this work is to create a ‘low flow channel’. It times of low water flow (most of the time these days) the stream’s flow will be concentrated in the narrow section between the bundles with the aim of scouring the stream bed and exposing the chalk and gravels which line the bed. Over time, this should look better than the brown silted stream bed and will create a more diverse and improved environment for invertebrates and fish which, in turn, ducks and birds feed on.
In times of high flow, water will fill the stream channel and the areas behind the bundles will silt up. These areas have been planted with native species including yellow flag iris, marsh marigolds, water forget-me-not and water veronica.
The work has been funded by the Rotary Club of Faversham, through Localism Funds from Councillor Cosgrove, a tea and cake sale at Faversham Open Gardens and membership contributions.
This work has been consented by the Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board and is not deemed to increase the risk of flooding.
Work will start on the Westbrook capital works tomorrow, Saturday, 22nd July, from 10am to 2pm around the footbridge between The Knole and Beech Close.
Volunteers will be guided by professionals from the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership and the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership. The installation of stakes and bundles, along with planting, will make the stream a more diverse habitat in this location and improve the look of the stream here, with the aim of increasing the biodiversity value.
If you would like to join in please arrive at the footbridge at 9.45 in your normal work gear. Teas and coffees will be provided but please bring your own packed lunch. If you would just like to see what we’re up to, just pop along between 10am and 2pm.
The pond was looking particularly beautiful yesterday whilst waiting for the Swale in Bloom judges – especially when the swans and all six cygnets came out to say hello.
Do read the interesting article about Paul Fowler featured in Faversham Life. Paul created the beautiful image of the Westbrook on the front cover of our leaflet ‘A walk along the Westbrook and Stonebridge Pond’.
June’s stream clear will be on:
Sunday, 25th June, 10am-12 noon
If you can come along please:
– join us at 10am by the stream on West Street opposite Twyman’s Mill/Stonebridge Lodge
– hear a short welcome, briefing and collect equipment
– take part in a litter pick and vegetation clear, either in or out of the stream.
Bring strong gloves (waterproof if possible), wellington boots or waders and secateurs, rakes, loppers, nets etc if you have them. Wheelbarrows are always very useful. Please name any equipment you bring.
We look forward to seeing you! Thank you very much.