When you are next along the River Cray between Five Arches and Water Lane you might notice last winter’s Chalk Stream Restoration Work a Thames21 project. Why not Stop Look and listen, you will see what still looks a bit raw, grey and strange, that some trees have been hinged or cut then secured in the river channel. This is standard practice for re naturalising our urbanised Chalk Stream ‘The River Cray’. The purpose is to naturally recreate the river flow variety of a chalk stream enhancing the habitat with some gouging of the river bed or shallow pools. Listen and you will hear the river, yes it’s a ‘babbling brook’ again and this variety to the river channel is good for the health of the river and the wildlife living in and beside a river. Here you may see that fish do live in trees.
Hopefully some silt will be trapped in the wooden features and encourage the growth of marginal plants and the colours of a river bank will return. Yes these trees in rivers will also trap rubbish but better our volunteers remove the plastic at this site than it continue on its journey into the Thames Estuary and eventually the Ocean.
Our Members will have received additional information on this project through our newsletter.
For more on this project and to learn about Chalk Streams use the links below.
River Cray: Craywatch – Thames21
CaBA Chalk Stream Restoration Strategy Consultation – CaBA (catchmentbasedapproach.org)
Michael Heath 25 May 2021
Examples below of the work at River Cray Foots Cray Meadows