Published: 17 Jan 22
Update on River Park Project – Durrington
Durrington Town Council hope that this update finds you well and we thought that now would be a good time to give you an update on work carried out and proposed for the River Park area of Durrington.
As you will have seen, a number of berms have been created by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust in the river using local natural materials which will regenerate over time and create natural havens for wildlife. These structures are aimed to divert the river flow away from the banks and therefore slow down the water passing along the side of the footpath
As you follow the river path from the recreation ground and out to the seat on the bow in the river, you may have noticed that the bank is eroding away quite quickly and that there are a number of holes along the path. The holes are made by Water Voles (a protected species) burrowing into the riverbank. Because the Water Voles are a protected species there is little, we can do to the immediate erosion on the riverbank, however we do have a course of action to take to minimise the erosion long term…
The grass path will be diverted inward from the river edge to allow for planting of native trees (Alder and Willow 2 – 3m from the bank and where there is no vole activity up to the corner on the bend. The aim of this is to get trees established so that their root systems will provide some riverbank stability in the future. This area will be fenced off in order to protect the trees from damage.
Subject to Covid restrictions, the Council would welcome volunteers to help with the planting which is proposed between now and the end of February, dependent on the availability of root stock trees, so if you would like to be a River Park volunteer, please contact Jo at the Council office by email: clerk@DurringtonTownCouncil.gov.uk or telephone: 01980 654772.
Moving round and back to the hard path and the bow in the river in front of the houses on Yew Tree Close. This has been fenced off throughout the summer of 2021 due to the bank erosion and the danger caused by the material previously used to retain the riverbank which has now been exposed and is allowing the river to cut into the bank. This area has been recently surveyed and there is now a proposal in place to reinforce this corner by creating a natural bank using graded rock/stone and soil which will be planted at the water margins with transplanted reeds from other parts of the river to reduce the amount of erosion. It is anticipated that this work will commence early in the summer of 2022 and due to the Plant equipment and lorries accessing this area there will be a need to close off the path immediately in front of the houses and the access path from Yew Tree Close.
Again, we would welcome volunteers to help us with the planting works which will be conducted as and when hard landscaping has been completed, so please let Jo at the Council office know if you are interested.
From Yew Tree Close following the river past the dipping platform to the sluice gate, it is planned to cut the path at least 2metres back from the riverbank and allow the reeds to spread in order preserve the natural habitat for local wildlife that use this edge of the river. A current proposal is that the larger grass area on this side and back towards the recreation ground will be mown bi-annually, but this will be monitored to ensure that there is no degradation in plant biodiversity. If there is a botanist in the community who would like to volunteer and conduct plant surveys for us, you will be most welcome and would ask that you pass your details to Jo our Clerk.
The trees along the River Park and through towards Bulford Bridge are in the main a Council responsibility. Work can only be carried out when approved by the Town Council and the Wiltshire Council Arborist considering the type of work to be carried out, legitimate reasons and the impact on the natural environment. The arborist acting on behalf of the Council has recently carried out a survey and a report outlining proposed and approved work is expected in due course. A further survey of all Ash trees will be carried out in the Spring to assess the level of Ash Dieback and anticipated tree loss/removal.
As always if you have any comments or concerns about the Riverbank and the projects please come and talk to us, email the Clerk or come to a meeting they are usually held on the last Tuesday of the month and full details and agendas can be found on the web site www.durringtontowncouncil.gov.uk
Durrington Town Council – Durrington Village Hall, High Street Durrington, SP4 8AD
Tel - 01980 654772 if the office is not manned, please leave a message and we will get back to you.
RIVER PARK DURRINGTON