We are involved in a really interesting project at the moment: The Source. It’s one of those nice projects where lots of people who are concerned about one thing get together and work out how to make it better. The thing in question being: the health of the headwaters of the river Calder. Brilliant.
Blackbark have been getting stuck into battling soil erosion as part of The Source Project:
So we have been making and installing vast numbers of fascines. These are six-foot-long bundles of branchwood or ‘brash’ tightly tied together. They are then half-dug into a hillside, along the contour, and firmly staked in place. They will stay there and slowly rot down, during which time they act as filters, holding soil on the hillside but letting water trickle through. This is important – when the soil stops moving, plants can seed, take root and start stabilising the soil. Once the fascines have rotted down, the slope will have revegetated and be far less prone to erosion.
Fascines are made in the woods and provide us with an extra value-added product – we can use a part of the tree we usually have to leave behind. They can be produced to a range of specifications and are popularly used for stabilising river banks as well as hillsides. They are 100% biodegradable – we use jute twine to form the bundles. As part of the project we have also been installing ‘leaky board’ dams in small watercourses, planting wetland wildflowers and sowing seed mixes. Make sure you visit The Source website to learn more.