I am sure you have all been following the progress in Richmond Park with our Beverley Brook Restoration Project. Well now that the main channels works have been completed, we were ready to move on to the next stage: tree planting.
Adding the right number of trees along the channel is crucial to restoring the habitat. Trees provide excellent cover for fish from predation, the shade they create helps to keep the river cool in the summer months, they provide habitat for birds and insects and the seeds as a food source. However too much shade can prevent marginal, emergent and submerged plant growth, so a balance has to be struck.
On a sunny February morning we were joined by seven volunteers from Friends of Richmond Park to plant nearly 200 trees along the two restored sections on the Beverley Brook.
To ensure we got it right, Toby (Senior Projects Officer at SERT) had worked closely with Royal Parks’ Julia (Head of Ecology) to map out where each species should be planted and how many.
Tree species planted included several types of willow (white, grey, osier and goat) as well as alder, black poplar, blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel, birch and elm. All trees were given a protection from grazing and from high flows to give them the best chance at establishing. Given the flashy nature of the Beverley Brook, those trees planted closer to the channel were given some extra protection from strong flows with a large stake providing cover.
Next on the agenda for this project is to add plants to the marginal habitats in April. Watch this space and come and get involved!
Big thank you to our volunteers from Friends of Richmond Park: Brian, Ian, Janet, Jed, Mike, Roger and Simon.