We are delighted to report that the work to improve the river banks in The Meads, as described in the Spring edition of The Pump, has been completed.
From 23 January to 13 March, 24 volunteers from Wheathampstead Open Spaces Volunteers, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, the Verulam Angling Club and the Environment Agency put in 268 hours’ work to get the work done. We pollarded the willows on the north side of The Meads, drove 160 chestnut stakes into the river bed along about 80 metres of river bank, and wove the willow poles between the stakes to reinforce the eroded bank – a traditional technique called ‘spiling’. We collected more willow poles from Lemsford Springs (courtesy of the Wildlife Trust) and from the Verulam Angling Club’s fishery at Leasey Bridge (thanks to them for all their help).
Our contractors, Maydencroft, built five entry points into the river where the existing informal entry points were causing even more erosion.
The entire project was paid for with a grant from the Wild Trout Trust to whom we are very grateful.