The Steel Valley Project team have recently been carrying out lots of work in the Sheffield City Council managed woods at Fox Glen near Deepcar.

Just before Christmas, we worked on some natural flood management in the woodland, which also helped to create a more suitable habitat for the Willow Tit bird.

Building a “leaky dam”

Nature does a good job of forming something called a “leaky dam” when large sections of trees fall across a stream. Smaller sticks and leaves then gather behind the fallen trees which allow some water through but also hold some back when the stream is flooding. This helps to slow down the movement of water, silt and sediment downstream (decreasing the risk of flooding) and also creates a wetter habitat in the immediate woodland area.

Our team felled a 60ft sycamore tree which was leaning across the river.  It was chosen due to the size and location, but also because its removal will create more light and let more undergrowth thrive in the area.

Once the tree was on the ground, it was cut into sections and then winched into place to create a man-made leaky dam, blocking the stream to create a wet woodland habitat.

Generating a habitat for the willow tit

The willow tit favours damp woodland conditions, so the new dam will help to create the right environment for it to thrive.

Additionally, the increased daylight from removing the sycamore will promote the growth of other species which are suited to the willow tit, including hazel, elder, hawthorne and willow – along with brambles which the bird uses for foraging. Some of these will grow naturally, but specific planting will also be undertaken over the coming weeks.

More about the Willow Tit project?

Funding for the Willow Tit project has been provided by Sheffield City Council and also Veolia Environmental Trust (through the Landfill Communities Fund).

To see what other work we’ve been doing on the Willow Tit project, check our previous post here.

SCC logoVeolia Logo

If you would like to become involved in the Willow Tit project or any other work carried out by the Steel Valley Project, please take a look at our volunteer pages and get in touch for a chat.

 

Leaky Dam, WTP, Fox Glen
Building a leaky dam in Fox Glen woodland

 

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