BART has kicked off its summer programme of works at a farm near Regil, North Somerset, in the headwaters of the Winford Brook catchment. A series of bunded scrapes to capture surface water run off and attenuate high flows in the watercourse, plus the setting out of a small spring fed wetland, will enhance the ecology in this part of the catchment. The nature-based solutions will also help to reduce the input of sediment into the downstream watercourses and help to alleviate localised flooding on Hen Lane. The work sits above Hen Lane where BART constructed multiple attenuation ponds and bunded scrapes last year. BART will return to the latest scheme later this year to strategically plant native trees and low-lying shrubs and marginal vegetation, helping to create a patchwork of connected habitats.
Following a visit two weeks after the groundwork had been completed, the series of spring-fed scrapes were already teeming with life. Dragonflies and damselflies were laying their eggs on the marginal vegetation and a roe deer had discovered a new drinking source. The bare soil was also beginning to green up.
Through this project, BART continues to build strong working relationships with landowners to implement measures that will improve floodplain connection, slow the flow of water during heavy rainfall events, reduce sediment & nutrient inputs into the watercourses, sequester carbon and create new habitats.
The scheme is being delivered by BART, working in partnership with contractors, landowners, local authorities and the Environment Agency who are funding this element of the project.
BART will later this month commence work with a neighbouring farm downstream where a series of interventions will be implemented to create and enhance wetland habitat alongside the watercourse through the introduction of large woody material, strategic coppicing, tree planting and the exclusion of livestock from the watercourse. On this tributary of the Winford Brook alone BART will have worked with four landowners to deliver a multi-benefit, multi-partner project whose support and willingness to work with BART will contribute to slowing the flow and improving water quality and habitat in the Winford Brook catchment.
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