With the Oakenshaw bypass channel now complete and functioning successfully work can begin on the accompanying woodland. This new woodland set on the banks of the River Hyndburn will complement the fish passage and further improve the habitat in this area.
The woodland here will be especially important. The trees will bring shade and cover to a stretch of river that is particularly exposed. Riparian trees provide some predator protection for river dwelling creatures and attract invertebrates which will, in turn, provide food for fish and birds.
Additionally, the woodland is providing protection against future problems. Predictions show that climate change could significantly impact rivers by increasing the temperature of the water, causing huge problems for the temperature sensitive fish that live here. Planting trees now will help to shade the river from excess sunlight helping to maintain a steady and appropriate temperature.
As with all woodlands this scheme will also help to ‘slow the flow’ of excess rainwater by breaking down soils with root systems, increasing the capacity of the soil, and increasing the time it takes for water to enter the river, so providing natural flood risk management benefits.
Finally, the woodland will also increase the habitat connectivity in the area. The site is a designated Biological Heritage Site for woodland and close to an area of species rich grassland. Additionally, there is another existing woodland on the former print works reservoir.