Transforming wetlands in Chalvey
Volunteers from the local community have been working with the WWT project ‘Saving the Salt Hill Stream’, to transform a pocket woodland and wetland area in Chalvey.
The stream starts in Temple Wood, opposite the Hindu Temple on Keel Drive, and runs behind the allotments and Montem Academy down to the Chalvey Ditch.
In December, volunteers worked over two days to undertake river narrowing activities to improve the natural watercourse and increase the stream’s flow rates. Volunteers also reduced canopy cover to encourage new plant growth.
These activities will help to improve the water quality and provide a better habitat for fish to thrive, which is a great food source for birds such as kingfishers, egrets and herons.
A new river bank was created to improve bankside vegetation, which provides homes for species like water shrews, frogs and toads. Wetland habitats are also important to help protect local housing from flood risks.
There is a great team spirit among the volunteers and everyone enjoys getting hands-on with the various jobs and donning their waders to carry out activities in the stream.
One WWT project volunteer said: “I wanted to broaden my horizons, meet new folk and learn from other people’s experiences. You can see something every day and not realise its importance. People come up to us and thank us for what we’re doing. It’s a great sense of reward. You can’t beat it.”
In January, the WWT team, in partnership with community group Paving the Way, hosted a superhero stream clean in Manor Park, where children got their very own superhero mask and helped with a litter pick to clean up their local area.
There are more volunteer days planned for February and March and the project team is keen to get more local residents involved.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07879 432111.
River bug safari
Saturday 10 February, 10am-1pm, Salt Hill Park
Come and discover all the weird and wonderful mini beasts that live in the Salt Hill stream! This free, family friendly event will get you and your kids catching these tiny creatures to help understand what lives in the stream and how healthy it is, so together we can encourage new life back into the Salt Hill stream.
Youth award winner
One of the Saving the Salt Hill Stream volunteers won a youth award for her contributions.
College student Louise Love, 16, was presented with an award for Young Environmentalist at the Slough Youth Awards ceremony at The Curve in November.
The awards aimed to raise the profile of young people in a positive way by celebrating their achievements.
Louise started volunteering with the WWT team in January last year and has helped with litter picks, vegetation management and clearing and removing invasive species, such as Himalayan Balsam.