Reed bed maintenance
I have been asked to assist in advising a West Midlands council in respect of a reed bed maintenance project. In essence, they put in a system of 3 ponds with reed beds and wiers to capture, slow down and filter surface water - some of which is highway drainage. This ultimately leads to a lake.
The first pond (the largest) however, is now choked with reeds and an area approximately 100m x 50m needs to be cleared.
Does anyone have any experience of any project of this nature that they would be willing to share?
Some immediate questions spring to mind:
Access to the main pond is good with a hardstanding area - but should machinery be used to do the actual reed clearance? (What is the poind lined with, how deep is the liner, would machinery damage any liner?)
When is the best time to carry out the work in terms of disturbance to the ecosystem - frogspawn etc.?
The reeds have been sampled and although there is highway drainage, the reeds show no evidence of hydrocarbon pollution so the EA is happy that the reeds would be non notifiable waste. So how best to get rid of the reeds - can anyone use them? Should they be dried out?
My initial thoughts are that it is likely the reeds and root mass would have to be cleared by hand from the pond to avoid any permanent damage to the pond structure and that surely the organic matter can be used for something?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.