Buxton volunteers adjust river to attract more wildlife

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Buxton Town Team volunteers are asking residents to be on the lookout for more exotic species of wildlife in Ashwood Park after rejuvenating habitats along a stretch of the River Wye.

During the re-wilding project volunteers installed wood bundles to adjust the river’s flow at the upper end of Ashwood Park - just below the confluence with Hogshaw Brook.

The bundles will change the flow pattern and allow plants to establish and create new habitats for wildlife.

Working with the Environment Agency and Waterside Care , the town team has made the river more natural and attractive to wildlife by creating more movement and therefore oxygenation by placing wood baffles along this section of the river.

These will gently divert the water course to introduce a variety of environments in the river.

Fast riffle flows with ripples on the surface help to oxygenate the water and clean rocks for spawning fish.

Slow-moving pools provide refuge for young fish and invertebrates.

Still water allows silt to build up allowing aquatic vegetation to take root.

It is hoped this will attract more birds, fish, insects and plants to the river.

The work was launched by the Environment Agency as higher-than-expected levels of phosphate had been identified in the River Wye.

The phosphates are thought to be coming from drains in Buxton - where sewage and detergents are being allowed to run down drains that empty into the river.

Richard Lower, project team leader, said: “I’m proud we’ve all worked together to enhance conditions for wildlife and create a new feature in Ashwood Park.”