Friday, 21 May 2010

Leabank Square Reedbeds!

Leabank Square Riverbank Garden is now the happy host to a spanking new reed bed fringe. Many thanks to the great team who planned and installed these ingeniously designed beds. Thanks to British Waterways, Thames21 and the AGA Group for giving Leabank Square the opportunity to support such a great project.

The actual reed beds consist of 2 cages – the longer top cages contain the reeds, whilst just below these, the smaller fully submerged cages provide a refuge for fish escaping predators. Stunning oak panels have been attached along the outer side of the cages, so that they appear hidden. Infact, from the towpath it will appear that the reeds are growing out of wooden planters in the water! How clever!!

The reed beds are a perfect companion to our riverbank garden. The two go together like peas in a pod! Just as we have been creating an environment where nature should flourish, so too will the reed beds. The reeds will support micro organisms which in turn will support a much more diverse aquatic wildlife. In time, we’ll see greater numbers of dragonflies, frogs, newts and fish, making pond dipping sessions much more exciting!!

As you can see in pic above - most of the real work takes place under the water level. There are 2 cages - the top longer cage is for the actual coir & plants. The bottom cage has slightly wider squares in the wire to enable fish, frogs & newts to hide amongst the roots if a passing cormorant should feel hungry. The solid oak plank is fixed to the front of the cage to prevent damage to the wire from barges & narrowboats.

The crew used 2 different methods of fixing the cages to the bank. In this pic they used a brilliant floating pontoon...........

.......... and to avoid damaging any of your seedlings - they worked from in the canal in front of the nursery.

This is just 1 of 4 separate deliveries that came into Leabank Square. When you look down onto the reedbeds - you have no idea just how much kit has gone into making these amazing fish habitats & reedbeds - but it needed loads of stuff delivered!

This is the view from above - with very little clue as to what is below the surface. Soon - all the plants will have grown much higher - and we shouldn't even see the cages.

There are many kinds of grasses, sedges, reeds & water flowers seeded into the coir. You really have no idea how stunning this is all going to look when it matures!!

These are the first of our new visitors to the Leabank Square Reedbeds!! We counted about 50 tadpoles who have a safe brand new home!

.......... and how about this beauty?! An adolescent damsel fly pays her first visit to the Recycled Garden!


Tony said...

Thanks for explaining it all Sóna. From the top, I had no idea what was going on. How long before the plants get taller than the cages?

Matt said...

Sóna, ta 4 the info. I've just been up 4 a ganda & it looks gr8!

Debbie said...

Hi guys. Just been up as well, OMG it looks like you did A LOT of work!

Thanks everyone! It is gonna look ace.

Paul said...

Looks good! I'll nip over the canal tomorrow & get a couple of pics from that side.

Dirk said...

I saw them while jogging past this morning. Looks great, but will look even better when the reeds start poking through.

Debbie said...

Felt a bit guilty cycling past you watering this morning, but work calls. Nice to chat though. Thanks for showing us the reedbeds, they look super. Thanks to your whole family for organising them for us.

Matt2 said...

Beautiful! Well done on all your hard work!

Mohamed said...

God Work family! These water plants will clean up the canal in no time. Thank you.