Skip to main content

A home on the Cray....and a plan for nature

This from Ashe Hurst – River Keeper on the River Cray with Thames21:
Good News, We got planning agreed tonight from Bexley Council. The River Keeper base on Foot Path 106, Barnes Cray Road Crayford DA1, will provide a focal point for River Keeper Volunteers and volunteers, storage for tools, kit, boats, canoes and enhancement materials. We will be able to hold meetings, carry out training & repairs.
At present the land is derelict and over grown. The shipping container, porta cabin & WC are being provided by Bexley Engineers Department as a mitigation from the A206 Thames Road & Bridge building project.
Although not yet envisaged as an main office as such, I will need suitable power to operate a PC, Printer, Lights, Heating, hot & Cold Water, Sink , Fridge, Microwave, Kettle.
We need to be on site by end of February or the funding from the mitigations will be withdrawn by March.
We Started Footpath 106 enhancements projects today, within 15 mins were down to T- Shirts. Thames21 River Keeper Volunteers, Northwest Kent Country Partnership volunteers and Southern EA Operations Team blitzed 100 meters and carried on for 300 meters. Bexley Contractors cleared debris and litter. Only 500 meters to go. This will open the ground up to light and moisture, regenerate fresh growth, increase Bio Diversity, remove sleeping, drinking and drug dens and give clear views along the secluded river path.
All large Trees growing in silted beds that had to be felled have been cut to lengths for use in Wild Trout Trust River Restoration Projects that RKs are working towards.
Can I thank all Thames21 RKVs, everyone for their support of our project and those of you who have supported and guided us through this Land Acquisition and planning process.

TINTT has been sifting the available information on the Cray’s water quality and combining this with the EA's and our own knowledge of the river structure.

Taking the raw numbers from the EA monitoring records and turning them into graphical plots allows us to visually pick out spikes in chemical levels and get a feel for the frequency of accidental inputs of chemicals to the river.

This has enabled TINTT to work alongside the EA and forward a strategic plan for appropriate habitat restoration and biodiversity management. In this way, we can maximize the potential ecological benefits for the efforts that will be put into habitat work on the Cray. We will also be providing (free of charge) a Wild Trout Trust “Practical Visit” to carry out top quality habitat restoration on substantial demonstration plots. The crucial value of the PV programme (as well as the direct habitat and overall biodiversity benefits that it generates) is that Thames21 and all associated volunteers working on the Cray can be trained in each of these techniques. In turn, this state of the art expertise can be passed on to future volunteers and the WTT are always available to respond to technical queries that arise from any of our partnership projects.


Popular posts from this blog

A previously buried section of stream produces the first fly caught trout in >160 years

As near as I can work out from the archaeology report, this section of river - recently brought back to the surface in dramatic fashion by Sheffield City Council, the EA and the WTT partnership - was buried in a low brick tunnel somewhere around 1853 to 1868. The northern half of the site was certainly buried underground BEFORE the time the 1853 map was produced....and the rest of the brick tunnel was placed over the top of the stream before the map of 1868...

Of course, it is not easy to tell what the water quality was like in that section even BEFORE the stream was buried...and whether there were trout surviving in the stream when it was sealed underground...

What is damned sure is that you couldn't wave a fly fishing rod around in that underground tunnel once they'd built it!

This was still the case until the completion of the massive project to remove the brickwork and create an attractive "pocket park" in the city centre. You might have seen from This Previous …
Catching and Releasing the first Fly-Caught wild trout from a stream that was dug out of a city-centre pipe was probably the highlight of 2016 for me!

Buried in a brick tunnel under England's industrial developments of the 1800s, a section of the Porter Brook in Sheffield was brought back to the surface by a bold project co-ordinated by Sheffield City Council and involving the Wild Trout Trust, The Environment Agency and many more partners.

You can now witness the actual process of freeing the Brook from its pipe - and the creation of functioning trout-stream habitat in this short video.

Yet, the above video does not show the completed park that was a huge part of the entire project - and it does not show the planted vegetation beginning to develop in the summer of 2016. And, it does not show any fly fishing or video of a trout capture...

But the film, below, that was made by the excellent Huckleberry Films as part of the Canal & Rivers Trust "Living Waterways" awar…

Buried Stream Project Wins National Prize

I'm delighted to say that the Porter Brook Deculverting project was selected as the 2016 Winner in the Canal & Rivers Trust for "Contribution to the Built Environment". This was a multi-partner partnership project (with key involvement of Sheffield City Council, the Environment Agency and more) that I was fortunate to have the opportunity to design the in-channel habitat features to provide the best functional benefits for trout and the wider aquatic foodweb. The Sheffield Branch of Trout in the Town "SPRITE" are caring for the habitat as well as monitoring the aquatic life in this new section of daylighted urban stream.

As well as my previous blog posts on the subject, the awards scheme made short videos (less than 2-minutes) long that captured key elements of each project entry. You can see the film for the winning Porter Brook project below. Please enjoy and share (and also check out the other project videos on YouTube from this year's awards).