Wading In…

Lake Logs!

We had a delivery of logs here in the gardeners’ yard at Chartwell recently. Sort of. As you can probably see from the above picture these ‘lake logs’ aren’t actually logs at all. They are coir rolls that have been pre-planted with aquatic plants (sometimes known as hydrophytes) such as Iris pseudacorus (Yellow Flag Iris) and Phragmites australis (Common Reed).

The coir rolls are delivered bound with durable netting

Our plan was to use these plants to bolster the shoreline and island edge in the two lakes we have at Chartwell. We wanted to halt the erosion that was already occurring, provide an improved habitat for the wildlife that thrives in, on and around our water features and also to visually improve the appearance of the lake edge so that it will eventually match the lush growth that is present on the far side of the lakes already. Below is a step by step guide to how we carried out this task…

Max, Steve and myself load up the trailer with the heavy rolls…

…before they are delivered to the parkland lakes

Max and Ann clear the lake edge of weeds and any other debris…

…before positioning the rolls in place. There is a certain amount of ‘give’ in them that allows them to be shaped according to the contours of the lake edge.

The ‘logs’ are then held in position by specially prepared stakes that are carefully hammered into place.

Tony, one of our volunteers, has a go and even the black swans come over to have a look!

These stakes are then cut to size

Meanwhile, further repairs are carried out to even out the lake edge. This section is removed to accommodate one of the planted coir rolls…

…before Steve re-sites it further along to discourage further erosion.

Ann and Max take a well earned rest…

…in order to admire our handiwork. Job done!

The coir in these rolls with degrade and decompose over time, by which point the plants will have rooted into the lake mud. We’re not sure quite how long our new plants will take to establish but it shouldn’t be too long. Make sure you pop down to the lakes the next time you visit Chartwell and see how they’re getting on. While you’re there you can also join in with feeding the wildfowl which is done around 2pm every day.

Chartwell feathered friends!



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