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Stamford Millstream Restoration
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

mill stream clean up8th october 012 039

This Autumn's clearance effort on the Stamford Mill Stream took place on Monday October 8th and saw a record number of volunteers take part in a huge clean-up of the stream and path. Over two hundred people spent the day working to remove weed growth and fallen trees from in and around the Mill Stream. The majority of those involved came from Cummins Generator Technologies, who also supplied food, drink, medical facilities, Portaloos and equipment for the day. Other teams were a student group from New College Stamford and members of staff from Royal Haskoning DHV, one of Europe's leading project management, engineering and consultancy service providers.
 

 

The remarkable growth of plants and weeds, which was prompted by a very wet summer, meant that areas cleared last year had to be revisited. As a result, teams were working from Tinwell Weir all the way down to Melancholy Walk. Other groups of volunteers spent the day removing and shredding large amounts of tree debris left over from previous clearance efforts. The output from this was around ten tonnes of wood chippings. Two tonnes of this were delivered to the Wharf Road green area, which is currently being restored by the Civic Society Urban Group, the rest was used to surface the Mill Stream path between Tinwell Weir and Broadeng Bridge. This has created a much improved walking surface and will also help to inhibit further weed growth in the Spring.

 

mill stream clean up8th october 012 012With much of the stream now cleared, the Welland Rivers Trust project team is now turning it's attentions to improving the water supply. Currently, this is very poor and depends upon a pump which runs only intermittently. Plans are currently being discussed to install a turbine electricity generator at the foot of the weir, which could provide power for a larger submersible pump located in the River Welland adjacent to the head of the Mill Stream. This success of this idea is dependent upon the Trust gaining permission from the Environment Agency to extract more water from the main river than is currently allowed. Discussions with the EA are taking place currently and a formal submission will be made shortly.

 

A further clearance day is being planned for January 2013, when remaining areas of the stream and path will be cleared, along with the removal of any tree debris left over from this year's effort. Volunteers for this event will be most welcome. A volunteering form is available on the Trust's web site here.



 
Sutton Bassett Case Study Available For Download
Thursday, 02 August 2012 12:22

A new case study has been published by the Environment Agency, detailing a project carried out at Sutton Bassett in March of this year. The study offers a complete picture and detail of the work carried out to enhance the environment of this stretch of the Welland.

 

Download a copy here.

 
New staff for the Welland Rivers Trust
Thursday, 02 August 2012 12:00

The Welland Rivers Trust welcomes the arrival of two new members of staff to continue the work of the Trust up to date and complete the production of our Improvement Plan for the river by December 2012. Liz Jameson joined the Trust at the end of June 2012 as Project Officer. She will be coordinating the activities of the final Plan on behalf of the Trust and the Welland Valley Partnership. The main tasks she has are to continue to discover what actions are happening along the river and listen to local communities and other interested parties about their veiws of the river and the Draft Plan. In this way we can ensure that our activities and those of our partners reflect what everyone, including local residents, want to see from their river whilst ensuring that it supports more wildlife, recreation and agriculture. Before joining the Trust, Liz worked for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s Osprey Project at Rutland Water for three seasons. Community and volunteer engagement were a big part of the role, so her expereince will be put to good use in the coming months for the work of the Welland Rivers Trust.

 

Lisa Smallwood joined the Trust in July 2012 on a three month internship through the University of Leicester as Data Officer. She will produce a GIS database of all activities along the river and map out all the information we can find relating to the wildlife recorded along the river, land use, habitats and water quality. After finishing her internship, Lisa will start at PhD in conjunction with the University of Leicester and the Trust around the restoration of the Welland in Market Harborough focusing on the ecological design of the project. Before joining the Trust Lisa competed an MSc in Global Environmental Change at the University of Leicester in 2011.

 

If you would like to share any information with us on your views of the river or want to let us know of any activities or projects that you are involved in or suggest projects that we should become involved in, please contact Liz and Lisa via the website or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Two New Project Reports Published
Friday, 25 May 2012 10:08

Reports on two recently completed projects have been published and are available for download now.

The first of these was at Morcott Brook, on the northern edge of South Luffenham, Rutland and was designed to tackle the adverse effects of cattle grazing near the river banks. It involved bank reprofiling, provision of a new cattle drinker and riverside fencing. The full report can be downloaded here.

The second report deals with the reprofiling of a section of the Welland between Welham and Slawston. This project involved the installation of woody debris flow deflectors; channel pinching using woody debris and “folding back” existing vegetation to create new berms; weed cutting and dredging to improve flows, bed reduction to improve existing and create new pools; introduction of gravels to augment existing and create new riffles; bank toe protection using rock (rip‐rap); new cattle drinkers; new ford; riverside fencing; removal of selected trees to reduce scour; new tree planting. The full report can be downloaded here.

 
Press Release - Local News - Stamford
Friday, 11 May 2012 07:13


PRESS RELEASE - LOCAL NEWS - STAMFORD

The Welland Rivers Trust has two large projects in the Stamford area: The first of these, which has been running for eighteen months, is the restoration of the Stamford Millstream. Work on clearing the stream and banks has progressed significantly in recent months and plans are being drawn up for remodelling of the stream bed, together with the creation of accessible educational areas for schools. These plans have received a huge boost recently, with the project winning a funding award of $32,000 from the Cummins Generator Technologies Foundation. Stamford-based CGT has been a major supporter of the Millstream project since its inception and regularly supplies large teams of volunteers from its work-force.

 

The second project which will benefit Stamford is known as The Sea Trout Project. Many years ago, Sea Trout would naturally make their way from The Wash all the way up as far as the Town Bridge. The introduction of weirs and locks during past decades created impassable barriers to this migration and the Trout disappeared from the upper reaches of the river. The project currently under way will create fish passes through the locks and 'ladders' on the weirs, which will enable the Trout to once again navigate their way to Stamford. This project is being delivered with the Environment Agency and Wild Trout Trust.

 
Press Release - Welland Improvement Plan
Thursday, 10 May 2012 19:04


PRESS RELEASE

The Welland Rivers Trust has announced the publication of the first draft report on its activities. Working with key partners including The Environment Agency, Anglian Water and The National Farmers Union, the Trust is currently undertaking a number of major projects throughout the Welland Valley. The new report details these activities and also identifies further areas where action is required.

One of the key purposes of this report is to inform communities, businesses and individuals about the reasons for these projects and why the Welland needs improvement. It seeks input from all interested parties who wish to comment, or contribute ideas or assistance.

The report can be downloaded here. Printed copies are also available upon request.


END


Information For Editors

The Welland Rivers Trust is an independent registered charity, affiliated with the national Rivers Trust, an umbrella body supporting over forty rivers trusts throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The principle aims of the Welland Rivers Trust are the environmental management and improvement of the Welland River and its tributaries, from its source in Sibbertoft, to the Wash estuary.

In pursuit of these objectives, the Trust brings together many organisations, both national and local, together with farmers, land-owners, fishing clubs and individuals, with the common goal of improving the ecology of the rivers of the Welland Valley.

In recent months, the Trust has been selected for one of ten pilot schemes being run by the Environment Agency. These schemes seek to involve the Third Sector in implementing the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive and bring with them significant funding opportunities for the various projects undertaken. An immediate benefit of this has been the formation of the Welland Valley Partnership, a multi-agency forum which involves communities, organisations, local authorities and businesses working together  to improve the River Welland for people and wildlife.


Contacts

Amanda Jenkins - Project Officer, The Welland Rivers Trust  - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Peter Voller - Chairman, The Welland Rivers Trust  - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Drayton River Enhancement Project
Friday, 16 March 2012 12:06

During the 1970s the River Welland was significantly modified. The natural river morphology was altered to improve land drainage and flood water discharge. The river was deepened; many meanders, pools, riffles and glides were removed; and the river was constricted within high, straight banks. High winter flood flows and poor land management practices now cause significant bank erosion and sedimentation. Prior to modification a high proportion of these nutrient-rich sediments would have been deposited on the floodplain, providing rich grazing pasture, but, as a result of the flood defence works, a large proportion of these sediments now remain in the channel, degrading habitats including fish spawning gravels. As a result the River Welland is currently failing to meet the Water Framework Directive (WFD) objective of “good ecological status” because of high phosphate levels and poor fish populations. Remedial action is required.

To ensure that the river meets WFD objectives in the future the Welland is now one of 10 catchments across England where an integrated approach to catchment management is being piloted. The pilot includes the implementation of a series of river enhancement projects and one of these is the scheme at Drayton.

To download and read the full project Case Study, click here.

 
Market Harborough River Improvement
Saturday, 25 February 2012 13:33

When the Steering Group for the WRT started, an early agreement between members was to become involved in any existing projects to try to improve the river for all, as well as to initiate new ones, all up the Welland. So far we have become involved in half a dozen, which stretch from fish habitat improvements on the ”Wide Welland” at Crowland to current deflectors (these are straight objects, like railway sleepers, which make the current zig-zag from side to side to change its form and increase the variety of different habitats in a stream that has been channelized in the past) in the headwaters of the Eye Brook.

A 'tough nut to crack’ is the Welland as it runs through Market Harborough. This is where the river is very narrow. Harborough is only a few miles as the crow flies from the source at Sibbertoft, but the river running through the town has been very severely dredged, deepened and straightened in the past few decades, so that now it is more like a linear waste bin for supermarket trolleys than a living river.

Despite the dredging and the rubbish, the river still does have life. Small fish shoals can be seen in abundance every spring and summer and kingfishers defy the crowds to dart under the bridges between car parks, town centre and supermarkets.

One of the early activities of WRT was to organise a ‘Riverlife’ day at Harborough in February, when over a dozen brave citizens from the town collected samples of animal life from the muddy waters. Quite apart from the fish, healthy bullheads and stickleback, we found over 25 families of invertebrates – ‘creepy crawlies’, all of which indicate that the river is clean.

So the challenge now is both to clean up the debris, rubbish and other wastes and try to make it look more like an attractive river, rather than a drain. With that done, we can start to make people aware of it as an amenity and encourage them to be proud of it, rather than regard it as an eyesore as they do at present.

The WRT had a very well attended public meeting in May, but before this, it had joined with HIT (The Harborough Improvement Team) also the Civic Trust and the River Care group, to seek funding to start this process from Leicestershire Together.

 


 

Read more...
 
Creek Watch
Saturday, 25 February 2012 13:30

Creek Watch is a brand new (free) App for the iPhone, developed by IBM, which allows users to collect and submit data on the state of health of waterways in their area.

The Creek Watch App collects four pieces of data:

  1. The amount of water in the river or stream: empty, some, or full.
  2. The rate of flow: still, moving slowly, or moving fast.
  3. The amount of rubbish: none, some (a few pieces), or a lot (10 or more pieces).
  4. A photo of the waterway.

Once submitted, the information is automatically displayed on a Google map on the Creek Watch web site at http://creekwatch.researchlabs.ibm.com/

This looks like a really useful tool for getting lots of people to continually monitor the Welland along its entire length. All it needs is a spot of viral marketing to promote the idea. So if you are an iPhone user, download the App today and start sending reports. Also make sure to spread the word to any other iPhone users you know. That way, we could soon have a very comprehensive and on-going survey of the river.

Some data on the Welland has already been logged. You can see this by going to the Creek Watch site and typing in the postcode PE9 2NJ.

Sample images of the iPhone App and the Google map output are shown below. You can download the App from here.

 

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