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Brushwood Berms Change the Flow of Beverley Brook

Brushwood Berms Change the Flow of Beverley Brook

Our Conservation team has been very busy over the last few months, working on the Beverley Brook restoration project with the help of an ever-growing group of conservation volunteers. If you walk along the brook, you will be able to observe some of the results of this work.

The original meandering course of the Beverley Brook had been historically “corrected” by the Victorians who liked their straight lines. The straight channel meant that there wasn’t any variation in the flow of the river, and not much space for habitats. Rivers are shaped by the natural processes of erosion and deposition but this wasn’t possible due to the wooden toe-boards at the bottom, constraining both banks.

Our team has removed these old toe-boards wherever possible, and installed berms (raised, vegetated areas to divert the water) in the river, altering its flow. These berms are filled with brushwood, branches cut from trees in the course of our conservation work. Sediment carried by the river is caught on these natural filters so these tiny peninsulae grow imperceptibly over the weeks and months, providing habitats for riparian (riverbank-dwelling) plants and animals.

Beverley Brook is now flowing along the gentle curves of the berms. Its flow has also been altered in places by the installation of some large woody debris by our intrepid group of wader-clad volunteers.

If you’d like to help us with our work as a volunteer, please get in touch – you can find current volunteering roles on this page.

Find out more about the Beverley Brook restoration project here. This project is supported by the Mayor of London, in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust.