Littlestock Brook flood management project

williamsonarticle01During the past month or so, the Parish Council members and volunteers of Milton have joined the Littlestock Brook flood management project to help prevent future erosion and flooding like that of 2007. We have managed to do this through four weeks in different stages.

During our first week, volunteers met at the Littlestock Brook and started a spiling process that involved weaving flexible willow branches between sturdy willow stakes. This will hopefully help the banks to stabilise as the willow will quickly take root into the side of the bank and create a stronger side which should not be whisked away by a fast current.

During the second week, over 70 volunteers marched like an army across the bank’s edge, planting just under 300 trees of many different varieties, including white willow, hawthorn, aspen, oak and alder. There was a demonstration, some health and safety advice and then the fun started. The trees were planted randomly to give the space a parkland look, rather than in straight and ordered rows. We added a mat around each tree to stop weeds giving them any competition and added a green protective tube to stop the deer having a nibble. A beautiful path had previously been added which will help to stop any runoff water from making it too muddy.

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Our third week mainly consisted of adding the last few trees, with many families coming along that couldn’t make the previous week. In the end, I think there were roughly 300 trees planted, which I can now look after as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award.

Finally, our last week included finishing off the last spiling with more helpful volunteers. Over the coming weeks, we will be watering in dry weather, checking the trees for life and replacing any failures. If we hadn’t got such a helpful community in the Wychwood villages this project could never have come about – we really owe it to everyone that helped out over this planting and spiling process. Thank you to all that did their bit!

Tom Williamson
Silver Duke of Edinburgh Volunteer

June-July 2019