There are three sites on the river Almond, within Almondell country park, where the river bank and path are badly eroded by foot- and paw-fall. To find a solution to this problem, the Friends of Almondell and Calderwood Country Park approached the RiverLife team and applied for a Project Package Grant which allows for input on design and execution of the project from a RiverLife project officer.
After discussion with the friends and the park ranger, we decided to build willow hurdles and construct steps to maintain access and reduce the erosion. On 16th Feb, 12 volunteers from the Friends of Almondell and Calderwood Country Park met with two members of staff from the RiverLife team to take on one of the sites. However, they were such an industrious bunch that they ended up completing the willow spiling on two, out of three, sites.
Two weeks later, we met again to complete the third site. It was great to see some of the volunteers from the previous session teaching the newbies and explaining the theory behind this kind of green bank protection.
Willow weaving is an established technique for controlling river erosion which has been adapted in this case to mitigate the impact of a large number of visitors to the park. Furthermore, this technique produces in an attractive woven structure and the Friends of Almondell and Calderwood Country Park now have the skills to tackle similar problems in the future.