The ‘Wilding the Tame’ project was based on restoring a 300m length of the River Tame in Kingsbury Water Park to re-naturalise the river and improve access for people.
Restoring the natural environment of the River Tame was important to improve the water quality of the river and enhance the habitats provided to local wildlife.
By restoring natural river processes through alterations such as re-profiling the river banks and widening the river bed, riffles (shallow parts of the river where the water flows brokenly) were encouraged to develop, which created a wider variety of good-quality habitats and enhanced aeration of the river for better water quality.
Additionally, an area of reedbed was planted in Helmingford Water. The reedbed was beneficial in increasing the biodiversity of the environment by providing a wider range of plant species to act as habitats for small animals and insects, and also helped prevent erosion to reduce the risk of flooding in the lake. We also re-seeded the river banks and planted 27 trees, including Black Poplars. Although the original project plans aimed to restore 300m of the river, our work went above and beyond that target – our talented workers achieved an impressive 520m restoration!
The improvements to the River Tame are also important to people visiting the area. The changes in structure improved the aesthetics and appearance of the river, alongside making it more accessible for the public. Tame Valley Wetlands have developed a self-guided circular walk following the river, which you can read more about here http://www.tamevalleywetlands.co.uk/circular_walks/. Over 600m of improved pathway and bridge access to Kingsbury Water Park has meant that the River Tame can be easily visited and enjoyed by all.
The work carried out during the Wilding of the Tame will help the river to recover at its own pace. Following the project completion, the river will be left to follow its own natural course, only requiring occasional maintenance of the reedbed. We are grateful for our National Lottery Heritage Funding which enabled us to carry out this important project.