This week volunteers from Friends of the River Frome, will undertake some tree works as part of the Wild Trout Trust’s TWIST (Transforming Waterways In Somerset Towns) project.
The aim of the project is to let more light into the river, so that aquatic plants, insects and fish can thrive – and also to increase habitat complexity to make more homes for those insects and fish.
Historically, the trees along the river in Rodden Meadow were managed by rotational coppicing, but this lapsed in recent years, so the river has now become now too shaded (and even hidden from view).
This month, we’ll be re-pollarding a couple of top-heavy willows, to save them from splitting and collapsing. The trimmings will be used to repair some previous habitat structures, and build a new one, and / or build habitat piles and dead hedges. We’ll also be cutting back some laurel bushes which are overshading the water.
Fallen trees in the water are naturally very beneficial because they produce different flow patterns around their trunks and branches, so we’ll be starting to selectively fell a small number of alder trees to form complex ‘Large Woody Material’ habitat in the river for insects, birds and fish. These trees will be securely tethered as ‘tree kickers’ so they won’t wash away in higher flows.
This project will be carried out by volunteers from Friends of the River Frome, with consent and funding from the Environment Agency, and in partnership with Frome Town Council.
You can read the full tree plan here: