Feed on

Normally when a tree falls in the Wandle it’s whipped out quick smart by the Environment Agency due to the flood risk it poses. In this case though the fallen tree in question was already starting to perform a useful function as a flow deflector – namely helping increase the sinuosity of the river and in doing so scouring out and cleaning a part of the river and slowing down another part to provide useful habitat. The EA had agreed the tree could stay if it was secured to the river bed and its upper branches removed to prevent snagging of debris – thus avoiding flood risk. (See our press release for more on this).

And so a team of keen volunteers gathered yesterday (a day chosen deliberately to tie in with World Rivers Day), bow saw and sledge-hammer in hand, to see what they could come up with. The process essentially went thus:

Take one fallen tree:

Fallen Tree

…attack it with a bow saw…

Limb removal

…remove its limbs…

Sawing tree

…notch river bank and position tree at suitable angle to flow…

Placement of tree

…hammer stakes either side of branch/watch someone hammering stakes either side of branch…


…keep on hammering…and hammering…


…wire stakes together and remove excess stake…

Will sawing

…then admire!

finished deflector

Close up final deflector

In the meantime, a second team downstream were helping de-silt the gravel with rakes to help provide suitable spawning habit for the trout that we’re hoping will return to do their thing again this winter.rakingsilhouette Gravelblowing

(John’s not doing a Ghostbusters impression by the way – that’s his leaf-blower that helped save on the hard physical slog of raking)

So… that’s our first proper bit of pro-active river management under our belts. We’re hoping there’s going to be plenty more – watch this space…

Comments are closed.