Perhaps the root cause of erosion in many of Scotland’s rivers is a lack of vegetation in riparian zones. Flood plains host grazing animals such as sheep, cattle and deer. Overgrazing and access to the river for water all contribute to erosion. The introduction of native broadleaf woodland and native plants can reverse this.
The introduction of vegetation to the riparian zone can;
- Stabilise banks.
- Introduce leaf litter that encourages invertebrates.
- Introduce woody debris that gives cover to fish and invertebrates.
- Increase biodiversity.
- Future proofs against high water temperatures by introducing shade.
- Control run off as vegetation releases water to the river relatively slowly compared to overgrazed fields.
For work in riparian zones we will undertake to:
- Design and offer advice on suitable works.
- Gain all necessary planning, grants and licences.
- Contact specialist machinery operators.
- Supply native plants.
- Advise on fencing design and contract out the work to proven companies.
- Design and supply water troughs to prevent stock from “poaching” banks.
- Ensure work is finished to a high standard from conception to completion.
It is also possible to have riparian zones that are to heavily wooded. The negative influence is too much shade preventing light from reaching the river. This can happen in broadleaf woodland but is more often a product of pine forest. Mono cultures of conifers can also cause acidification.
For removal of woodland from riparian zones we can offer the following services:
- Site visit for an assessment.
- Designing a plan to coppice or remove woodland.
- Contacting forestry companies to gain permissions and examine possible partnership working.
- Gaining all necessary planning consents, grants and licences.
- Finding the best solution for the disposal of wood.
- Advice on replanting.
- Appointing suitably experienced contractors.
As part of the application process environmental surveys are often requested. We can supply surveys to a required standard for mammals, birds, insects, plants, fish, invertebrates and freshwater pearl muscles.
George R Ross.
RegardsGeorge R Ross.