Wickham Water Meadows

Wickham Parish Council


Summer 2022

Wickham Water Meadows

The river Meon, at Wickham Water Meadows, was facing severe damage to the riverbank. Increased usage from a variety of users in the summer of 2020 exacerbated the problem to the extent that large sections of the bank had to be fenced off as they had become dangerous.

The restoration project aimed to reinstate the original bank line and replace the eroded bank material. Oak hardwood revetment was installed at varying heights to suit the depth of the river and was backfilled with chalk to create a stable bank. This was then finished with topsoil to seamlessly blend in with the adjacent areas. 

Stepped access to a shallow section of the river was created in a similar fashion to the rest of the oak revetment. This allows for more formal access to the most used entry point of the channel and, therefore, reduces damage to other parts of the riverbank. Hazel faggots have been fitted downstream of the stepped access to help protect the bank from further erosion.  Locally sourced, native, marginal plants were planted along existing and new revetments to try and naturalise the banks.

The stepped access to the Water Meadows from the Meon Valley Trail was overly steep and deteriorated. These were replaced with green oak steps at a shallower gradient and air-dried oak handrails. The new steps were infilled with pathing gravel.  A timber ramp, infilled with pathing gravel, was also installed to improve access to the adjacent residential area. Existing footpaths were also resurfaced during the works.

The restoration was successful and enables the Water Meadows to withstand the higher footfall rates.

Project Images

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