Cherry Hinton Brook has been having a major face lift. The project began a few years a go with the main focus being to get this neglected water course back to being a productive ecosystem brimming with life. It has all the potential, the brook is actually a chalk stream. Chalk streams are globally rare and special habitats. The clear, mineral rich water, along with the stable temperatures and flow regimes provides perfect conditions for creating abundant invertebrate and plant life which then of course attracts substantial fish populations.
Over time our chalk stream had become slow-moving and over grown. The over hanging trees had created shade, extra silt and leaf litter. This was all having a negative effect on the amount of species Cherry Hinton Brook could support.Therefore the project was begun by Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook to try to turn this around. In partnership with Cambridge City Council, Natural England, Anglian water, Cambridge Water, Rivercare, Sainsburys, the community service and Cambridge volunteers the project started by adding extra gravel in the form of riffles which would fasten the flow and help clear the silt. The over hanging trees were cut back allowing substantially more light to reach the stream.
Then ‘flow defectors’ were added. Flow deflectors are basically two big logs held by stakes which are angled into the flow, these are then back filled with gravel. The aim again is to fasten the flow, oxygenate the water, move the silt on but collect some of it at the sides to eventually create a further habitat. Good for shelter, breeding and feeding sites for fish and invertebrates. The plan is to put these flow deflectors at regular intervals along the brook.
The project will continue in to the new year but the next session is scheduled for Saturday 28th November 10am- 1pm. Meeting at Sainsbury’s Coldhams lane, in the car park near the recycling area and a large pile of gravel!
If you would like to join the volunteers but would like more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org