Volunteers needed to move 15 tonnes of gravel into Dorset River

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is looking for a group of volunteers to help move 15 tonnes of gravel into the Bere Stream on behalf of the Bere Regis Wildlife Group in association with the Bere Regis Parish Council, on Saturday 7th November.

This mammoth task follows coppicing work along the river, where volunteers have coppiced hazel stools to allow more light to reach the stream, encouraging weed growth and a greater range of habitats for fish and invertebrates to thrive in.

DWT Wild Rivers project coordinator, Sarah Williams, said, “The gravel we are installing in the Bere Stream will give shape to the river, which will allow it to hold larger fish, and create shallow areas for fish to spawn in.  By improving the habitat we are also creating suitable conditions for other wildlife, such as water voles.  Moving the gravel into the river is a big but very important job, and we’d be grateful for any help on the day.”

Funding has been provided for this work by Wessex Water and the Environment Agency Fisheries department, to pay for tools, materials and equipment.  The gravel will create ‘berms’ in the stream, allowing small deviations in the water flow which will help remove silt from the gravel bed, allowing fish to lay eggs, and create refuges for small fish to hide.

The Bere Stream is a chalk river which runs from Milborne St Andrew, and flows into the river Piddle.  A variety of river wildlife can be found along the river, including Brown Trout, Bullheads, and birds such as Little Egrets and Kingfishers.

If you are interested in taking part, meet at the Scout Hut on Elder Road, Bere Regis, BH20 7LY at 10am on Saturday 7th November.  Tools will be provided, although please wear wellies, and bring a wheelbarrow and gloves if you have them.  Hot drinks will be provided.

For more information about the task, please contact Tony Bates on 01929 471563 / tonybates@thebeeches.f9.co.uk or Mike Gee on 07759884942 / mike.gee@tesco.net.