The project area runs from where the Brook leaves Richmond Park and then goes under the Upper Richmond Road here. Working with landowners and all user groups, and led by Barnes Conservation (part of Barnes Common Limited), the project aims to create a diverse mix of flow types, depths, velocities, widths, and cover in this stretch of the brook. This will be achieved by:
- Redefining and creating a more natural meandering channel with brash berms. The densely packed brash slows the flow of water through the berm, causing any suspended sediment to be deposited within the berm, aiding in the scour of the riverbed, exposing previously covered gravels. With time, the berms will fill with silt and create a fantastic substrate for riparian plants to grow.
- Installing brushwood faggots at certain areas to reduce the level of bank erosion – many of these will be made from hazel coppiced on Barnes Common.
- Carrying out tree work along the length of the project area to improve light conditions to the banks. This will encourage the understory to develop a diverse range of native plant species and structural heterogeneity, supporting a wider array of wildlife. Invasive species will be removed along with numerous ‘garden escapes’ that are dominating certain areas.
- Installing Large Woody Debris (LWD) at relevant points to create varying flow speeds, scour and to expose areas of gravels currently covered by silt, which will provide important spawning areas and habitats for fish & invertebrates.
- Improve the habitat and food provision for bats that forage and roost along the Beverley Brook. Bat boxes will be installed under three concrete pedestrian bridges. Cavities and crevices will be carved directly into the trees with a chainsaw.
- Creation and enhancement of riffles, exposing underlying gravels and creating suitable spawning habitat for fish.
- Where light levels permit, establish Reed within berms placed around the outfalls to reduce the impact of effluent from outfalls.
We will be organising numerous volunteer work party sessions to assist with this work so please keep your eyes peeled for dates.
This project is supported by the Mayor of London, in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust.