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THE 2011 TRUST RIVER WALK

The summer walk was successfully held on the River Monnow at Monnow Lodge, Walterstone, on Sunday 14 August by kind permission of Mrs V Bailey and Mr R Davies. Robert Denny, Chairman of the Monnow Rivers Association, led us on a short walk along the banks of the river Monnow where we saw the work carried out by the Monnow Rivers Association (MRA). This included the coppicing and fencing of the river banks; large scale revetments to reduce erosion; in stream work to improve fishery; Himalayan balsam control; mink control and reintroduction of water voles. 

Robert Denny introduces the members to the MRA and its work,

 

    

tells us about the mink traps along the river,

 

and off we go along the bank.

 

  

Small fry in a healthy pool

 

 

 

Brushwood is stapled under the bank to support it. The fence is placed a metre back to keep off livestock so that the turf will hold the top of the bank. When the river is running fast, the brushwood slows it down and not only prevents it from washing away the soil, but encourages it to drop its load of silt, and so the bank begins to be rebuilt. 

 

 

A Trust member admiring a limpid pool.

 

 

No Himalayan Balsam in sight! The plant is sprayed and cleared, and then stragglers are pulled by hand as MRA volunteers patrol the river.

 

 

More willow brush stapled in an oxbow bend. The many small branches provide shelter for fish when the river is in spate; and also, as before, encourage the river to drop its silt. When the silt is deep enough, the willow sprouts from the branches, and then grows and puts down roots to help to hold the bank together.

 

    

Robert pulls some Himalayan Balsam and explains how it is controlled,  

 

  

and the members have a go themselves.

 

 

The peaceful bank. 

 

After the walk, we enjoyed a relaxing picnic in the sun.

 

The River Wye Preservation Trust, 35 Link Road, Hereford, HR1 1BG