We’ve started work to make the River Butley in-channel and bankside habitats better for wildlife. The project, focusing on a 500m section of the River Butley, near Butley in Suffolk, aims to install woody material to improve in-channel morphology and habitat for fish and wildlife.
Canopy work: The river was heavily shaded by the bankside trees, reducing the opportunity for marginal and instream plants to flourish. We started by opening the riparian canopy along small sections of river to improve tree structure and to allow light to reach the river surface too. Our aim is to increase wildlife diversity along the river and to provide areas of riverside refuge for all wildlife using this corridor.
Creation of new log berms: When river processes are restricted we can construct nature-like structures called berms to promote river naturalisation. We have enhanced a previously barren and featureless section of river by introducing seven new log berms. The installation of these new berms will reinstate a natural sinuosity within this section, promoting a variety of habitats and areas of refuge for wildlife within the river.
Riverbed improvement: We have added gravel and stone to improve the riverbed, reinstating the gravel that has been lost over many years of maintenance. This has increased bed variability, creating new habitat for aquatic plants, macroinvertebrates, and fish. The gravels used will also provide silt free spawning beds for fish, which in turn can help support other wildlife such as kingfishers.