26th December 2022
12 days of hope.
Today’s Guardian reported on the rewilding of Swindale Beck: ‘For Schofield, an ecologist who is senior site manager at the RSPB in Haweswater, restoring the natural process to the beck was emotional work. “The stream as it was just looked like a canal, with stone banks and levees built up as time passed from years of dredging and dumping material on the sides. So we had to be quite interventionist ourselves, using diggers, creating a channel, removing spoil. For many conservation projects you do not see the results for a very long time, but with this one, we completed it on a Friday. It rained all weekend and on the Monday when we went to look at the beck, there was just this completely restored river, that curved and meandered and looked like it had been there for ever. It was a really powerfully emotional moment.” Within about three months, the rewards continued as salmon began spawning again in the gravel bed, made possible by the slowing down of the stream and the creation of still pools and shallows. Schofield said the restoration had improved numbers of common sandpiper, kingfishers, dippers and grey herons and increased the diversity of invertebrates in the stream.’
Similar rewilding projects are happening across the country including our nearby Beverley Brook. It’s name means beaver meadows indicating who used to inhabit its waters.