New Wear Rivers Trust Project Support Officers Jade and James enjoyed a day of practical work in Stanley after two days of induction. The two new members of staff joined colleagues and volunteers to re-connect the Stanley Burn wetland which was created in 2017. Silt and debris had filled the previous channel and reduced the efficiency of the wetland.
Along the wetland there are 4 large ponds which fill with water at heavy rain incidents slowing the flow of water downstream. The increased connectivity of the wetland to the drainage system should improve water quality by holding pollution and preventing it reaching the main river. Pollution comes from the nearby road and industrial estates which combine with materials leeching from abandoned mine workings to make the Stanley/Twizell Burn a contaminated watercourse.
A new channel was dug to re-connect the wetland to the Burn by-passing the main river which is steeper and thinner. A reduced gradient should reduce speed of flow and erosion.
The re-connection was part of the Stanley Burn Volunteering Project funded by Stanley AAP which aims to use conservation volunteering to improve the health of local residents following the Covid-19 pandemic. There are still a couple of opportunities to get involved in activities. More details, when available, will be on our Get Involved page.
Wet and muddy but happy staff and volunteers were able to reflect on a job well done. On Monday 14th August during heavy rainfall the inlet was working well with the water draining into the wetland.
WRT will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the wetland and inlet.