Landscapes for Life
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most cherished and outstanding landscapes.
The AONB Unit have been working in partnership with Ross-on-Wye Town Council and Natural England to manage the amenity grassland and river bank for both conservation and public enjoyment. Two ecological surveying trainees from the AONB carried out habitat surveys of the river bank and meadows to understand more about the area. They made management suggestions based on their findings and, as a result, Ross Town Council are now managing two areas of formerly amenity grassland as floodplain meadow. By changing the mowing regime to allow flowers to set seed and by removing mowings to reduce the nutrient levels of the soil, a more diverse meadow grassland habitat is being encouraged.
With funding from Natural England, coppicing, pleaching and pollarding of bankside trees has taken place. This helps to create diversity in the age of the trees along the bank, encourages regrowth of Alder trees showing signs of disease and has opened up riverside views. River bank stabilisation has been installed in the form of willow weaving, helping prevent erosion using natural techniques. Steps onto the willow platforms have also improved fishing opportunities on the Ross Anglers day ticket stretch of river.