ECO TEAM SUPPORTS NOTTINGHAMSHIRE CANAL BIODIVERSITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Aquatic specialists at Harris Lamb have been working with the Canal & River Trust to support an ongoing environment improvement project in the region.
The business volunteered to survey the Nottingham & Beeston Canal near Castle Lock as part of the work being undertaken by the Nottingham Canal Improvement Partnership, which principal ecologist Rob Harrison is a member of, which aims to put measures in place to aid biodiversity and recreation within the waterway.
Rob, who has extensive experience in aquatic ecology, said: “We are very keen to contribute to local ecosystems and share our expertise to enhance the environment, so we were delighted to volunteer some of our time to survey the canal for aquatic plants.
“We found a good species list of submerged, floating leaved and emergent aquatic plants that will play a key part in developing the waterway, and took a look at some recently installed coir rolls which had been planted with aquatic plants to increase the diversity of the canal and ‘green up’ the inner city stretch of the canal.
“The data we collected will be used as a baseline so that we can see further improvements to the canal’s aquatic plant assemblages as the NCIP puts in further measures to improve the canal for biodiversity and recreation,” he added.
Richard Bennett, heritage & environment manager at the Trust, said: “Spending time by water is proven to benefit people’s well-being, and the Trust is aiming for more of the 75,000 people living within a kilometre of the canal in Nottingham to make the most of this. We set up the Nottingham Canal Improvement Partnership to help achieve that, providing new and more ways for people to enjoy and get involved, with activities such as canoeing and paddle boarding being big attractions.
“Wildlife and green spaces are a key part of what makes the canal special, so surveys were carried out to see what habitats and features could be improved and expanded, which led to wildflower-rich towpath verges and new marginal habitats being created through the urban centre of Nottingham.
“Assessing the hidden underwater world of aquatic plants requires specific ecological skills and we were delighted that Harris Lamb were able to provide this with the macrophyte survey by boat to help us work toward our goals,” he added.
In conjunction with the aquatic survey, Harris Lamb also provided a training opportunity for the Trust’s staff and stakeholders, demonstrating a range of survey techniques from Harris Lamb’s aquatic survey boat and highlighting the different plant species that grow in the region.