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How can you keep your river healthy and clean? Part 2: Bankside management

In a series of short articles, we will provide advice on helping to maintain the health of our globally rare chalk streams and lowland rivers in Norfolk. In times of drought and hot weather, this is especially important because of the wildlife our rivers support; endangered white-clawed crayfish, brown trout, eels, and water voles are just a few of the iconic species at risk in Norfolk – and you can do your bit to help protect them!

Next up is bankside management:

We all love to take a seat by the river bank and watch the water go by – and even dip our toes in! But did you know that strimming or mowing the river bank can reduce the habitat availability for a number of species including dragonflies, water voles and breeding birds? This is because all river wildlife relies on vegetation for survival. Tall reeds, sedges and flowering plants are particularly good for most animals. Water voles ideally require a 3-meter margin of undisturbed river bank, and breeding birds need dense vegetation to nest in for protection from predators. Pollinators thrive on flowers such as hemp agrimony and meadowsweet, and aquatic invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies require vegetation to emerge from. By leaving a “wild” section on the riverbank, you can provide a wealth of diverse habitat for the wildlife that we are so lucky to have in Norfolk.

Get in touch:

If you are a landowner with riparian land and would like to talk to us about restoration and rewilding, please do get in touch with us at Norfolk Rivers Trust. We offer a wide range of services including surveys, restoration and management advice. Email [email protected]

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