We've been helped by Keep Wales Tidy who have organised a series of team building exercises to help us deliver these projects. The idea behind team building and not just contractors and machines is that more people can get involved and have a sense of ownership of the work. The erosion we are tackling is purely a result of huge amounts of severe rainfalls that have hit us over the last 5 years especially over the summers. However, there are several instances where large machinery has caused problems on the very wet LNR. For example, our willow coppicing area is like pea soup in winter where a tractor came in a 5 years ago, we've lost 2 big beech trees as a result of silt being dumped at the base of the trees resulting in decreased aeration of the roots followed by infection and death. Last month we had to make safe a massive beech tree which fell in recent storms leaving a huge branch dangling dangerously over a stream which we were due to undertake a litterpick with the local beaver group. Sadly, the ground was really wet and the hill access by the vehicle with the winch led to two tyre channels which allowed water to run down them and create a bog/pond at the dip in the hill. This was right in the area where we now need to wheelbarrow the stone from the nearest access gate to the erosion point.
Keep Wales Tidy also designed the methodology and made sure the activities were made safer, largely by suggesting rubble chutes for the steeper areas. The whole plan was approved by the countryside team and the limestone was suggested by TCBC's County Ecologist who said by using limestone, the increased calcium load in the water would provide a more favourable habitat for crayfish. We did a brief survey last year with Henllys CIW School, so we hope we have a positive effect on these in the future. One local resident told us that he used to catch crayfish in this stream some 40 years ago.
|Plan of action|
|Left. Tyre damage and pooling of water at the dip. Middle. Sumps and drainage as well as the scaffolding planks and other wood to cross this area. Right. 16 tonnes of Taffs Well limestone.|
|The long push|
|The short push|
|End of day|
On the Friday, I went down from 12 - 7pm to do a little spring clean on the gabion baskets which resembled a very heavy version of the Tower of Hanoi. This will make it much easier for us for later today where a team from Barclays Partner Finance will be helping out.