Natural England and the Environment Agency were recently down at Eastham Bridge to discuss with the project team about planting for when the works are completed. As has been shared on here last month the site is a very important habitat for wildlife, and the River Teme is a SSSI due to its significance.
It is usual to leave a SSSI river bank to re-vegetate naturally but at Eastham Bridge the banks will be reseeded shortly as they are naturally steep. This will help reduce the risk of soil erosion as well as the establishment of the non-native Himlayan Balsam, whose seeds have been washed down the river onto the site , whilst improving bio-diversity. The seed-mix will be of a damp, permanent grass nature, which is appropriate for the site. Trees will also be planted and an existing willow pinned back against the river bank which will stabilise the bank against further erosion.
Hedgerows will be replanted too along the road south of the bridge, which are important for the ecology of the site. The species will be appropriate to the local area, such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Crab Apple, Dog Rose, Field Maple and Hazel.
This will help return the Eastham Bridge area to as it was just over a year ago.