Friends of Allestree Park

Allestree Park in Derby, England

Tackling Erosion around Allestree Park Lake

lake works 2010.05

 May 2010
From Pat Sear, Pond Warden for Allestree Park and committee member of FOAP:
Problems identified around the lake required specialist help and visitors to the park will notice that improvement work has recently taken place around its shores. This was to combat bank erosion and to improve public access to the lake.

Following  discussions with the City Council by members of FOAP,  work was carried out by BTCV and Groundwork Derby and Derbyshire, to provide bank reinforcement and a platform at the duck feeding area. Work started on the 23rd March with a team of enthusiastic volunteers from BTCV, led by Steve Wright, and helpers from DCC Parks Department, which included David Winslow and Gerado Musano. Over the next few days the foundations for a boardwalk at the duck feeding area were well established and another area of severe bank erosion was filled and retained by the BTCV team.
In the second week the platform for the boardwalk was complete. It took several more weeks to finish the platform and add the safety rail, but it now provides a safe and far more ‘family friendly’ environment for looking at the lake and feeding the various ducks and geese and other waterfowl that inhabit this lake. Children now run down to the platform with delight and it is a real focal point for the park.

Following vandalisation of the platform in the summer of 2010, a newly restored platform is now in place, again the work of the Dertby branch of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Sam Maw, from Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire, has provided the following report of work undertaken to date:

The banks of the lower lake at Allestree park are showing signs of advanced erosion caused by a variety of factors. The prevailing wind drives small waves into the bank slowly eating it away, this begins the process of destabilisation further exacerbated by dogs, ducks and fishing paraphernalia. After months and years we have ended up with deep cups in the bankside which, left unmanaged, will end up with the loss of all vegetation, some trees and even paths. Bankside vegetation is very important to keep the banks stable and to provide calm waterside conditions for invertebrates and amphibians.

Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire in partnership with volunteers from DCPWA and BTCV selected willow lengths from the other side of the lake. These were cut into lengths on site then driven into the lake bed slightly off-shore. These then had thin whips of willow woven between them to create a living willow wall. The water on the inside of the revetment is calm and allows the sediment to build up leading to the successful re-colonisation of the bank with vegetation.

The area has now been planted with carefully selected marginal plants, including Yellow flag and Sweet Flag, Phragmites and Purple Loosestrife which, it is hoped, will become established and provide a habitat for a wide range of insects and amphibians.

Sam had groups of young people from Portway Infants and Woodlands School coming down to the lake in May to carry out wildflower seeding and to learn more about the importance of ponds and wetlands.
The PICTURES show initial erosion problems - construction of the platform and bank re-inforcement at the duck-feeding area on the Upper Lake. The last series show construction of the willow revetment and planting with aquatics at a point on the Lower Lake.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018