Saturday, 9 November 2013

Beverly Brook Planting Delays

Many readers will be familiar with the Beverly Brook flood alleviation scheme which has been implemented over the last couple of years or so. The final part of this is the replanting and seeding of the last trees and vegetation that had to be removed to do the work and in newly landscaped areas.

The seeding for much of this was supposed to start in October however situations have conspired to delay this work. In a letter about a week ago to local residents, Penny Burt, the Senior Environmental Project Manager wrote:
"I imagine that the members of the residents committee might be wondering why the landscape contractor, G. Burley & Sons, has not yet appeared on site.
I was expecting Burleys to have started the seeding on the Beverley Brook Scheme at the start of October. However, when we contacted GTI, (the civil engineering contractor who had purchased the grass seed earlier in the year) to arrange delivery of the seed to the site, they discovered that they had lost it.  I have had to arrange for the landscape contractor to purchase some more seed (we will be recouping the cost) and this delayed the start of the seeding work. 
The delay should only have been a week or two at the most, but Burleys failed to mobilise their seeding sub-contractor before the weather broke, despite the fact that I was chasing them every day for a start date. 
I have been told by Burleys that the contract manager has been ill over the last few weeks and that this, combined with the loss of the seed has meant they have not been able to get their seeding subcontractor on site. I am very annoyed about it because, having given you and the other residents reassurances that we would be getting the work done as soon as possible, I now feel that I am letting you down. 
I am pushing for them to get on site to weed and tidy the site as soon as possible. If the next few weeks are mild (and not too wet), there is no reason why we can’t get on and seed the verges at least. We seeded a site in November last year and had good coverage in a few weeks. Realistically, it looks like we will now need to give natural regeneration another chance at Back Green because the site is waterlogged again. In terms of habitat diversity and wildlife value, this is actually a better restoration technique than seeding and planting because self-seeded plants/grasses are always best suited to the growing conditions on a site. The problem is it can take a while for a site to look ‘green’ again. I imagine that we will get some re-growth over the next few months but that we will need to give a helping hand next Spring with some over-seeding. This is frustrating because we all want the site to look good as soon as possible. 
Next week I am due to get start dates for the weeding/tidying of the whole site, verge seeding and shrub/tree planting along Green Lane and Caverleigh Green. I will keep you informed. 
Apologies for the delays. I have been trying very hard to get the work done and will continue to do so."
I'm sure we are all looking forward to seeing the finished results in the area around Back Green, along Green Lane and behind Caverleigh Way when they do finally happen.