What were the issues?
This Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) was in unfavourable declining condition due to the effects of artificial drainage, which were causing increased erosion within grassland habitats on the Open Forest, and woodland habitat within the Inclosure. As a result of the deeply incised channel, there was no seasonal inundation of the grassland and woodland areas and very inconsistent interaction with the floodplain. As a result, the adjacent habitats were all negatively affected.
How did we fix them?
This plan follows on from earlier restoration work undertaken along the line of the drain as it flowed through the mire. At the end point of the earlier channel restoration work, there was an unstable step in bed level, where the watercourse dropped to the level of the unrestored channel. The bed level of the channel upstream of Broomy Inclosure was raised to restore a shallower, meandering channel within the wider existing channel, up to the Inclosure fenceline and for a further 36m within the Inclosure.
The wooden vehicle bridge on the Open Forest to the south of the Inclosure fenceline was replaced with a gravel ford with boarded edges, the Forestry Commission confirmed that the bridge needed removing to ensure the long term success of the proposed works and to protect the upstream mire on the Open Forest from future erosion. A gravel ford was the most appropriate solution to maintain recreational access to the area whilst safeguarding the stability of the channel when the works are complete.
The raised bed level was graded into the restoration of the remnant stream meanders and subsequent infill of the drain through the Inclosure.
At the downstream end of the site, the watercourse continues along the original line of the meander, out onto the Open Forest before joining up with the Dockens Water, and the artificial drain was infilled. The gravel pedestrian ford on the Open Forest was relocated to cross the restored meander route.
To download the planning application, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/planningapplications and type in the application number 15/00045
Works at this site commenced on the 12th May 2015 and were all completed by 9th June 2015.