Earlier this week, 3 representatives from the RRC carried out a site visit at the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve near Old Wolverton in Milton Keynes to observe the changes since restoration works took place.
Thanks to the Parks Trust and all of the partners, approximately 50 hectares of the River Great Ouse floodplain has been altered to accommodate natural river flows, flooding and biodiversity. Multiple channels, lagoons and shallow pools cover the area allowing flora and fauna to thrive in natural habitats, with footpaths winding through the landscape.
We walked along the footpath and through the fields towards the original, small, densely vegetated slow flowing channel in the South of the floodplain. During times of flood and high flow, this channel feeds the lakes and lagoons before reconnecting with the Great Ouse further downstream. After walking along the stream (towards the East), the group crossed a bridge (towards the North), and walked along the Great Ouse. Previously, this river was disconnected from the floodplain; however bank lowering on connecting channels was necessary to create a more natural landscape which could flood whilst providing habitats for wildlife.
Finally, we followed a new public footpath (towards the West) which ran through the centre of the forest, towards a bird hide. From here, the extent of the floodplain was evident, and the public noticeboards provided information about the wildlife which can thrive here.
For more information about this project, have a look at the case study on the UK Projects Map by clicking here.