As part of our ongoing works with the Environmental Agency and the Wild Trout Trust, we have been improving the habitat of Cambridgeshire chalkstreams, in particular reshaping the river Granta which flows through our Campus.
The riverbed has been carefully dug in places to lift gravel, which has been re-distributed and topped with clean gravel to provide new spawning riffles for brown trout and minnows. The banks have been lowered to allow floodwater into areas of woodland which should hold water, allowing it to soak back into the ground to aid recharge of the chalk aquifer. Woody material, from large trees to twiggy brash, have been introduced to the river to provide habitat for fish, birds and insects as well as to ‘slow the flow’ of flood waters.
Big thank you to Sanofi who used their volunteering day to get involved with some of the works required. The team were in their waders for the day, constructing flow diverters and plating areas for insects to thrive. If your company is interested in volunteering in ecology projects on site, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Some testimonials from the Sanofi team:
"The volunteering itself was wonderfully arranged, with clear instructions on what we would be seeking to achieve – and, importantly, why and how it would make a difference. Everyone was able to get involved in all aspects – from collecting logs and “brash” to construct a new bank area for fish and invertebrates to hide, constructing flow diverters to alter the speed of the river (allowing still areas for fish to ‘relax’ and faster areas to keep the river bed clean for spawning) and planting areas for insects to thrive. It was great!"
"I really enjoyed the day volunteering with WTT. Rob was very informative and explained the purpose of the work we did that day and how it will benefit the organisms living there. Working as a team in a small group allowed us all to be very hands-on and involved with every part. Would highly recommend this day to learn something new!"
Before: this is how the river looked before the work was started, covered in brambles and inaccessible with very little water flow.
After: here is how the river looks today, well managed and well flowing. Take a walk along the river to see for yourself, and look out for fish!