I've got a stream at the bottom of my garden, how can I manage it to encourage wildlife?
The top 5 steps you can take to encourage wildlife around the stream are:
- Create a wildlife fringe along the riverbank (e.g. an unmown strip)
- Construct a pond at the edge of your garden
- Leave an area of lawn to grow and develop as a riverside meadow
- Install a wood perch to attract kingfishers
- Place a log on the riverbank to draw otters
See the Dorset Wildlife Trust leaflet series "Living Gardens - Gardening Action for Wildlife", and leaflet number 7 "Garden Streams" gives lots of useful information.
My local river is polluted / blocked with fallen debris / full of weeds?
Some weed growth is good for many species found in rivers. If however you are really concerned about the condition of the river then you will need to ring the Environment Agency on 01258 456080 and report the incident.
How do I stop the river bank erosion at the bottom of my garden?
The best way to protect the riverbank is to leave a 1 metre strip of unmown grass next to the river.
Also putting in willow/hazel-weaved structures can help bind the soil structure together.
The Wildlife Trust National Office has produced leaflets on how to help prevent bank erosion, this leaflet can be found on their website.
If you wish to carry out any work on the riverbank you first need to get consent from the Environment Agency (01258 456080).