Wildlife Volunteers in Wellies Working on the Wey

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Working on the WeyWorking on the Wey

A team of volunteers from Surrey Wildlife Trust’s ‘RiverSearch’ project pulled on their wellies and got stuck into some vital riverbank restoration in Alton.

The project to improve a section of the River Wey called Flood Meadows began nearly a year ago and is now nearing completion.

“This section of chalk stream was too wide and suffering heavily from silt deposition,” said Glen Skelton, the Trust’s RiverSearch co-ordinator. “So woody ‘berms’ were built along the riverbank to narrow the stream and create a better flow of water, which helps to scour out the silt.

“This week our volunteers have been coppicing and chopping back overhanging trees to let more light into the waterway – this will encourage the growth of aquatic plants, which will improve habitats for fish and invertebrates.”

The project is backed by South East Water, which owns the land. Farnham Rivers Group also headed upstream to lend a hand. And volunteers worked together to create a ‘dead hedge’ along the top of each riverbank out of the woody debris left by the tree works.

“We had a brilliant day and it’s so nice to see the community getting involved,” added Glen. “Volunteering with RiverSearch is a good way of meeting new people, learning new skills and getting some exercise in the fresh air and it’s great fun. At the end of the day it’s amazing to see just what a difference our volunteers can make!”

The Trust’s RiverSearch volunteers are now planning further work on the River Wey near Farnham in April and new projects to improve the Pipp Brook and Rye Brook near Leatherhead. 

Find out how you can get involved as a RiverSearch volunteer on your local waterway here >> 

Tagged with: Living Landscapes, Volunteering