First of all, a big thanks to all the volunteers for coming along on a rainy Saturday. Despite the wet conditions, the turn up was excellent. There were 12 enthusiastic people on the ground planting 175 trees along the main river and making brush bundles ready to be placed in the straighten tributaries.
The river Goil is a spate river surrounded by steep hills covered mainly by commercial forest along the hill sides and grazing land on the floodplain area.
The first phase of the habitat improvement projects on the river Goil (November 2014), was an erection of a fence and planting of 75 trees. The trees are growing successfully but more work needed to be done in order to improve fish habitat and recover natural geomorphological processes of the river.
The second phase of the project was a more intense planting (175 trees). This makes a total of 250 trees on the ground ready to grow and stabilise the eroded banks. Native trees are vital features in the river habitat. They bring multiple benefits to the ecosystem, such as:
· Food supply for fish through terrestrial invertebrates that live on them;
· Trees provide shade reducing the temperature fluctuation of the water;
· They also provide cover for fish and other wildlife dependent on them;
· They stabilise the banks with their root network and trap fine sediments when the flood event occurs;
· It is important to have trees on the river banks so they can become large woody debris, also beneficial for the in-stream habitat.
This is an on-going project. We expect to do more work in the near future tackling exacerbated bank erosion through soft engineering techniques. We will keep you posted.
Finally, we would like to thank, once again, to all volunteers for their hard work (Goil Angling Club members, friends and keen fishermen), and the farmer who gave us his permission to fence the land and work on the riparian buffer zone.
River Goil before tree planting.
Goil Angling Club volunteers. Happy faces.
Installation of stakes and shelterguards around the tree.
Tree planting on the island.
Collecting brush from the felled forest nearby.
Cutting brush bundles to the same size.
Making even piles.
Packing brush bundles together.