On Wednesday 1 March 2023, Friends of the River Frome (FORF) and the Wild Trout Trust will be starting this year’s practical conservation work in Rodden Meadow, to improve habitat for birds, fish and insects as part of the TWIST (Transforming Waterways in Somerset Towns) project.
Historically, the trees along the river in Rodden Meadow were managed by rotational coppicing, but this has lapsed in recent years, so the river has now become too shaded, and even hidden from view. On this volunteer work day, the team will be:
- Cutting back overhanging laurel bushes, and carefully thinning other bankside vegetation, to increase the amount of light that can reach the river, and open up better views of the waterway for local people
- Building a dead hedge, using trimmings from our willow pollarding work in October 2022, to create habitat for insects, birds and small mammals, as well as protecting part of the river bank from excessive erosion, and possibly preparing the area to be planted with pollen-rich native plants later this spring
- Planning future habitat improvement works to take place along the river in Rodden Meadow. This will include a small number of ‘tree kickers’; selected trees which will be carefully felled into the river to provide valuable complex habitat for many species, and securely tethered so they won’t wash away.
The TWIST project is funded by the Environment Agency.