Sud Brook and Twyver
Riparian restoration plus associated habitats
Located within Barnwood and Abbeydale Wards
We are delivering this section of the overall city project along the Sudbrook off Stonechat Avenue in Abbeydale.
The Stonechat Avenue works include re-naturalisation of the Sud Brook by the removal of the concrete channel and the creation of wildflower meadow and wetland features;
The establishment of the meadows is continuing following some fantastic nursery crop flowering displays over the summer. The next seasons will see the regular wildflowers start to populate the areas along with the bulbs planted.
The river is now settling and has some nice river bed materials producing riffles and habitat for much wildlife. A family of moorhens were spotted in the smaller scrapes enjoying the new habitat alongside large numbers of bees, damselflies and dragonflies.
In places this year, there was an attractive display of cornfield annual flowers including poppies, corncockles and cornflowers. These acted as a ‘nurse crop’, protecting the slower more subtle, perennial wildflowers to establish. Over time, the perennial wildflowers should become increasingly diverse with species such as ox eye daisy, hawkbit and wild carrot, providing essential habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
Arising will continue to be deposited in discrete locations and will provide a useful habitat for slow worms and invertebrates
This month has seen our contractor prepare the area for seeding. The wildflower seeding has now been completed however the process of creating the bare earth required for the wildflower seed to germinate on may leave the site looking a little worse for wear until the meadow is established.
We are aware of several trees that have failed and we will look to replace these by the end of the year.
Following the wildflower seeding a specific maintenance regime is to be followed to ensure the establishment of the meadow. This will typically include in the 1st year regular cutting of the site to reduce the competition of the weeds and native grasses. After this the area will be subject to a cut & collect regime that mimics historic meadow management by grazing. This will be in the form of a spring cut in April to prepare it for flowering through the summer. Once the meadow has flowered a main summer cut, referred to as a hay cut, will be carried out between June and August depending on what is flowering. In some instances we may then carry out an autumn cut in late November to keep weeds and weed grasses at bay to allow the wildflowers to persist the following years.
The central reservation along Eastern Avenue will be managed as a meadow to provide habitat for wildlife and improve biodiversity along an urban highway. The area was seeded to help with biodiversity. Edges will be cut back routinely to aid with appearance and prevent the longer grasses and flowers overhanging the road. This will provide a great wildlife and habitat link and refuge along the urban environment connecting the various watercourses that are culverted under the road.
Following the recent re-naturalisation of the watercourse we are looking to commence works to sow the wildflower meadow for this area in the coming months.
Mown paths will be cut through the meadow to allow users to walk and engage with the habitat.
The following photographs show the contrast of before and the current site.
We are aware that a few trees have not taken and these will be addressed as part of the upcoming works.
The ground works to Stonechat Avenue are now complete. The original concrete channel through this area has now been removed to create a natural channel to improve habitat, increase bio-diversity, reduce flood-risk and allow better access to the watercourse. The existing balancing pond has been cleared of vegetation and will be under a robust maintenance regime. Several additional localised wetland features have been created to improve bio-diversity in the area.
Temporary amenity grass seeding has been carried out to aid with eradicating the resilient weed coverage in the area; wildflower meadow seeding is planned for 2020.
February 2019 through to August 2019: