Biodiversity Benefits

The Trust is committed to enhance Biodiversity along the river Gipping. We will not progress any major project unless we can prove a biodiversity net gain. The Waterways Trust have stated that:-

"If the water channel becomes choked with vegetation, the habitat quality quickly deteriorates, which isn’t good for the wildlife that lives along the canal or local people who like to stroll along the towpath. "Keeping the channel clear and allowing light to penetrate helps native and rare plants to flourish creating healthy habitats for fish, insects and small mammals".
Himalayan Balsam Pulling
Swans on the Gipping

Improving the Environment 

You can enjoy the Footpath along the Gipping throughout the year. Create a wonderful walk and enjoy the Biodiversity of the countryside around the old Canal. You’ll find a great variety of wildlife and loads of fresh air. The footpath “towpath” beside the Gipping is level most of the way, with a few steps up to some bridges, which the Trust would like to see removed.

We consciously look for ways to improve the environment and the Biodiversity of the area. We aim to protect and promote wildlife, and make this a special place for all who pass through. For example, our volunteers have planted around 700 hundred trees over the last two years along the ‘sunny’ side of the towpath to help give some shade in the future to the river. Four robust bat boxes have been installed underneath the new footbridge crossing, and many ‘bug hotels’ have been created along the towpath. Every year Trust volunteers remove thousands of Himalayan Balsam plants along the river banks. The plant is an invasive species, it competes with native plants for light, nutrients, pollinators and space, excluding other plants and reducing biodiversity. It dies back in the winter, leaving river banks bare and open to erosion.

Before any major project is implemented the Trust will make sure there is a biodiversity net gain.

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) have published a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) brochure for Canal Restoration. Read it here