Cringle Brook is a tributary of the river Witham, located south of Grantham. It is a spring-fed limestone beck, 12km in length, geographically isolated and unique. While the Lower sections of the Brook remain relatively natural and have some great habitat, as with many of Lincolnshire’s watercourses, the Upper Cringle Brook has been historically straightened and deepened, vastly reducing the diversity of habitat for wildlife and the upper catchment’s ability to store water in times of high rainfall.
Lincolnshire Rivers Trust worked closely with the landowner, Easton Estates and contractors, JE Spence, Dynamic Rivers, and ecologist Andrew Chick to carefully design and restore a significant 1km section of the Cringle Brook between Skillington and Stoke Rochford. Trees from the site have been placed across the new one hectare lowered floodplain, a pond with secondary channels and a back channel added, along with the creation of a 1.7-hectare wildflower area, built using material from the floodplain adaptation.
The additional 2.7-hectare wildlife habitat restoration land area was agreed with Sir Fred Cholmeley, the owner of Easton Estates. Lincolnshire Senior Project Officer, Gail Talton explained how working with the landowner was critical, “This was a major project, Sir Fred Cholmeley and Easton Estates have thanked us for what they have described as amazing work. Without their commitment the project would not have been possible. Although the entire site looks very stark at present, we are coming back to re-seed the bare ground with wildflower mix which will further enhance the area for pollinators and other wildlife.”
The Cringle Brook restoration, funded by the Environment Agency, forms part of the strategic priority within the Witham catchment partnership to restore Lincolnshire’s important Limestone Becks. Senior Environment Officer David Hutchinson explains, “These improvements have significantly improved the habitat in this section of the Upper Cringle Brook and show the importance of floodplain reconnection in appropriate locations. The new in-set floodplain will provide a range of benefits including ecological resilience to high and low water flows.”
ENDS For further information contact: Gail Talton at East Mercia Rivers Trust Tel: 07927 156155 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FB, Instagram & Twitter: @EastMerciaRT