River Loddon gets a Woody Debris Makeover
The first phase of a package of works at Old Basing has recently been completed by the Thames West region of the Environment Agency.
Old Basing is located on the River Loddon, to the East of Basingstoke and this first phase of works included the installation of small woody debris structures along the channel bed. The woody debris structures improve the reach by creating areas of clean gravels suitable for trout spawning and creating areas of refuge for juvenile fish, as well as being beneficial for a range of invertebrate and plant species.
Over 25 woody structures have been installed through an area of woodland. Over-shading of the channel prevents macrophyte growth here and the channel has been dredged in the past, and so is uniformly wide and relatively straight. The wood used for the structures has been sourced locally from young, self-seeded trees, such as Sycamore, found on the river banks.
The works have been delivered through a collaborative partnership project with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The Trust have now delivered several river improvement projects on the rivers Loddon and Whitewater and the EA hope to continue to deliver these kinds of habitat improvements in partnership with them.
Future phases of work will include the removal of redundant weirs which are obstructing fish passage.
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