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River Restoration - Autumn 2023

Photo of a river with a small brushwood bundle pinned to the bank

BART - 20th September 2023

What’s going on in the 40 Acres river? A team of river specialists from the Bristol Avon River Trust (BART) are installing improvements in the Stoke Brook.

Along with a team of volunteers them are pinning small brushwood bundles, known as berms, into the river. These add small bends into the river which was straightened and ‘tidied up’ by humans back in the past before we maybe understood the implications of a tidy river for water flow and wildlife.

In high flow the water rushes through and all plant life, insects and fish eggs get washed away. The berms will allow wildlife to flourish again and will add lots of nooks and cranies for fish and the water insects they feed on to hide away and thrive. The berms will also catch a lot of soil, gravel and small particles that wash in from roads, drains, rooves etc. which can smother a river. The natural woody berms will take about 2 weeks to install and should last forever. The berms in the brook further upstream in Bradley Stoke have been very successful. Advice for landowners north of the motorway have also reduced sediment, chemicals and slurry entering the watercourse.

Residents can get involved by volunteering for BART.

We can also all play our part by ensuring we never put anything down the toilet other than paper, poo and pee. We must also never put anything down the drain. Old paint, oil, white spirits etc can all be taken to the nearest recycling centre.

Homeowners can reduce the amount of rainwater entering the drains by installing water butts, avoiding tarmacing driveways and gardens and installing bog gardens and rain troughs in their own gardens. Gardening for wetlands | WWT

Map of river where work is taking place

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