Restoration of the Beverley Brook on Wimbledon Common

The first event last year was the Winter Talk and the subject of the talk, given by South East Rivers Trust was "Reviving London's Rivers - challenges and successes in SW London".  The aim of the talk was to put our river, the Beverley Brook, into a wider context with an overview of London’s rivers, and then more specifically, the work to the Brook in Richmond Park to make it a more natural flowing water course. 

The talk also discussed the possibility of whether a similar project could be carried out here on the Commons. 

We reported in January 2019 that the South East Rivers Trust had raised the funding they needed to carry out the restoration to the Beverley Brook on Wimbledon Common and work was due to begin.  Well, all bar the final clear up, that work has now been completed. And what a difference!

Fortuitously, the work coincided with work our Maintenance Team had scheduled as part of the Woodland Management Scheme for that area. Our team began by carrying out clearance work and then the South East Rivers Trust moved in and started their work in the Brook.  This has included: 

  • removal of toe-boarding: this will remove the "canalisation" aspect of the Brook and allow natural erosion in the bank

  • log butts:  Log butts have been placed in the flow of the brook to create areas where the water will eddy and also create quiet spots for fish to rest.

  • "Tree Tops" in the water: the upper branches of the trees removed from the woodland have been placed in the water.  This will have a two-fold effect, firstly it will create narrower channels which will cause the water to flow faster, sweeping up the silt and creating a gravel bed for fish to use for spawning.  That silt will then gather within the branches, creating small areas of land and helping to create a more meandering flow, as well as a refuge for wildlife. 

  • where trees have been cut out, they will be used to create "eco piles", forming another important habitat for wildlife. 

 

Both the Brook and the surrounding woodland will recover and by the end of the summer growing season, the habitats will be noticeably enhanced to the benefit of local wildlife.   Do go and have a walk along the Brook - you will be amazed!

Before and after photographs from the wooden bridge near the Playing Fields: