For the last four years we have worked with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s Two Valleys project (DEFRA and Environment Agency supported) in the Monksilver and Doniford streams catchment area, with the aim of preventing flooding using natural processes.
QE has acted as a catalyst and has helped the project make considerable progress.
One landowner, to whom QE introduced the project, has planted some 2,000 trees, is waiting for another 1,000, and has installed 40 leaky woody dams.
Another has installed eight woody dams on one of his properties, and will plant several hundred trees as soon as his commitments under the Higher Level Stewardship scheme expire.
In a local riding centre hedgerows and trees were planted to reduce run-off.
A further NFM initiative was undertaken in March 2022 to reduce flooding in Bicknoller village arising from higher stream flows in Bicknoller Combe in times of heavy, prolonged rain. To slow the flow down the stream we formed a partnership with the National Trust (the owners of the combe), Somerset Rivers Authority (who funded the project), the AONB, FWAG, WWT, Friends of Quantock, and the Commoners to install four leaky woody dams in the combe’s stream.
Further examples of work in Bicknoller Parish are shown in these photographs:
In Newton a new wet woodland was created which temporarily stores flood water before it enters the Doniford stream. Dead trees are left in the wetland to decompose and create valuable microhabitats for invertebrates.
In Paradise Combe a woody dam was used to slow the flow stream and capture large amounts of sediment washed off during heavy rains from land upstream.