Local volunteers Calum and Tom learning how to winch trees up the slope out of the woods.
West Cumbria Rivers Trust is working with Hayton Castle Fields and the local community to clean up the local woodland and river to create a haven for people and wildlife and aims to reduce flooding downstream of the site.
The project is kindly funded by the Greggs Foundation and has been combined into an existing weekly permaculture project currently attended by Mayfield School and Lakes College students. This allows the young people involved to also learn about woodland ecosystems as well as woodworking and construction skills. We also welcome others of any age and background to come along and get involved. Local volunteer Claire says, ‘My three kids love visiting the Castle and getting involved in the project, it’s a fantastic way of getting to know the community and learning about the outdoors.’
The woods in Hatyon have been used as a dumping ground for years and the trees are very overgrown, so the plan of action involves; removing fly-tipping and invasive plants from Patten Beck and preventing any further rubbish from being thrown over the wall, thinning the overgrown trees to safely benefit water and land habitats and creating leaky dams in the wet woodland areas where flood waters can be safely stored to reduce flooding in downstream Allonby. Rosie from West Cumbria Rivers Trust said ‘This is one of the best projects I’ve been involved with, we are upskilling local people, protecting the environment and the river and helping to prevent people’s homes flooding, not many projects can make such big claims’.
Volunteers moving logs and brash where the first leaky dam has been created.
In the last month we have been thinning the trees and lots of enthusiastic volunteers have been involved in moving the logs and creating wildlife habitat piles from the brash. One of the trees is already in place as the first leaky dam but the next will be a living dam made of willow and hazel which allows a constant flow of water through but safely holds back any excess water in floods. We have also moved one truck load of fly-tipping from the site but have much more to move so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help.
Finally we are planning to sensitively construct an access route into the woodland and bog for groups of all abilities to learn about river and woodland conservation and see the leaky dams for years to come. For more information on this project please visit: http://westcumbriariverstrust.org/projects/patten-beck-community-project